APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Biobased aviation fuel
- Higher energy density than previously known biojet fuel compounds
- Scalable and more efficient production of jet fuel candidates
Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) produced three sesquiterpenes – epi-isozizaene, pentalenene and α-isocomene – as jet fuel precursors at high production titers. As described in the researchers’ Biotechnology for Biofuels publication, linked below, the team produced 727.9 mg/L epi-isozizaene, 780.3 mg/L pentalenene, and 77.5 mg/L α-isocomene in E. coli as well as 344 mg/L pentalenene in the industrially favored S. cerevisiae. Introducing a dynamic autoinduction system using previously identified FPP-responsive promoters for inducer-free production achieved comparable amounts of each compound.
Several microbial platforms have been developed for advanced biofuel production, with aviation fuels as an important target of biofuels research due to its high market demand and competitive price. Isoprenoids have been shown as good feedstocks for advanced renewable jet fuels with high energy density, heat of combustion, and cold-weather performance. Sesquiterpene compounds C15 such as farnesene and bisabolene have been identified as especially promising jet fuel candidates.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Liu, C.-L., Tian, T., Alonso-Gutierrez, J., Garabedian, B., Wang, S., Baidoo, E., Benites, V., Chen, Y., Petzold, C., Adams, P., Keasling, J., Tan, T., Lee, T. “Renewable production of high density jet fuel precursor sesquiterpenes from Escherichia coli,” Biotechnology for Biofuels, 2018, 11:285.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Controlling Metabolic Pathways Using Artificial Positive Feedback Loop in Yeast EIB-3293