Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are close to solving a problem that could make biofuel production even more eco-friendly.
To reduce the carbon intensity of biofuel production, researchers wanted to find a way to break down cellulosic biomass found in straw, switchgrass, and unused parts of corn. The problem is that when you extract fermentable sugars from this biomass, you generate chemical compounds that kill the yeast cells needed to make biofuel.
So, MIT researchers developed a yeast strain with a more durable cellular membrane that could withstand these compounds and convert them into ethanol. The results of their study were stellar – with this heartier yeast, they improved fuel ethanol creation in five cellulosic biomass types by 80%!
This study is extremely exciting. It could move biofuel generation away from more carbon-intensive plants like corn and toward less intensive feedstocks that would otherwise go unused. It’s another example of how research is driving innovation in biofuel. Scientific advances make the product that heats your home cleaner and more sustainable every day!
With all of this good news about the positive benefits of using various organic products like switch grass as a biofuel crop, you might wonder where home heating oil stands. Don’t worry. Not only is today’s heating oil environmentally friendly but it’s also a vital part of America’s progress toward reaching net-zero carbon emissions.
Advanced heating fuels like Bioheat® fuel combine ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biodiesel, composed of organic products like used cooking oil, tallow, fats, and algae. Produced in the United States, it is one of the cleanest-burning energy sources.
Biodiesel is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum-based fuels. Widespread regional use of Bioheat fuel annually prevents more than 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of removing 320,000 vehicles from the road.
Plus, homes that heat with energy-efficient Bioheat fuel use less energy overall. Right now, and in the years ahead, you should feel great about heating your Massachusetts home with renewable heating oil!