Biofuels: future from the past

The evolution of the biofuels technology represents an unicum in the sense that is not only going forward, but year by year is meeting its past. At the start of the thermal engine era, biofuels were the most diffused fuel and the oil derived fuels were just a new arising technology. If we divide the evolution of the biofuels based on the origin of the carbon atoms, three generations can be identified. First generation concerns about biofuels derived by an ad hoc cultivation. Second generation biofuels are obtained from lignocellulosic materials which were not cultivated with the main purpose of making fuel.  In the third generation there is the direct conversion of the atmospheric carbon dioxide into a fuel by means of microorganisms. One route is the use of unicellular algae which use carbon dioxide to synthesize fatty acids that can be further converted into biodiesel. Another possibility is by the use of engineered cyanobacteria which can directly employ solar energy and CO2 to obtain ethanol or other chemicals.

About the Author

Davide Montesarchio
Davide Montesarchio, born in Naples (IT) in the 1988, was graduated in Genetic Sciences and Technologies and the Biogem in 2014 with a thesis on the production of photosynthetic 2,3- Butanediol. Later on, started the PhD at the University of Amsterdam with a thesis on the production of photosynthetic ethanol in Synechocystis. During his PhD the passion for the scientific journalism became an effective commitment, because of the convincement on how important is to bring science to the people and make people become critical observers of what’s happening in the scientific world. Beside science other passions are swimming, basketball and reading books.

Be the first to comment on "Biofuels: future from the past"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.