Researchers test possible method to lower cost of ethanol production

Krista Eastman/University of Wisconsin–Madison
April 13, 2017
Written by Krista Eastman/University of Wisconsin–Madison
George Huber and a team of collaborators developed a renewable way of producing a highly valuable commodity chemical from biomass. The development has the potential to reduce the use of petroleum in making plastics and improve the economics of cellulosic ethanol. Photo by: James Runde
George Huber and a team of collaborators developed a renewable way of producing a highly valuable commodity chemical from biomass. The development has the potential to reduce the use of petroleum in making plastics and improve the economics of cellulosic ethanol. Photo by: James Runde
April 13, 2017 - A team of chemical and biological engineers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has found a way to produce from biomass a valuable compound used in plastic production that they estimate could lower the cost of ethanol produced from plant material by more than two dollars per gallon.


The development is the latest in an ongoing effort at UW–Madison to create commodity chemicals currently derived from petroleum out of biomass. These bio-derived chemicals could serve as high value co-products of the biofuels manufacturing process, improving the economics of cellulosic bio-refineries.

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