First Renewable Diesel Fuel (Not Biodiesel...) Approved for Sale in United States

truck stop photo

Amyris' renewable diesel can be distributed through the existing petro-diesel infrastructure. Photo: ThreadedThoughts via flickr.
Amyris Biotechnologies has announced that their renewable diesel (not biodiesel, more on that below...) has been approved and registered for commercial sale by the EPA. Intended to be blended in with petroleum-based diesel, this is the first time a hydrocarbon-base fuel made from plant-derived resources has been approved for sale:Amyris says that unlike biodiesel and ethanol, because this renewable diesel is a hydrocarbon it can be blended with conventional diesel fuel at higher levels that biofuels; it can be distributed in the existing fuel infrastructure without modification.

Additionally, it works better at lower temperatures than biodiesel, and has similar environmental benefits in terms of reducing air pollution. It contains zero sulphur and virtually no harmful aromatics, and when blended with petro-diesel results in significantly lower particulate, hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and other emissions.

Yeast Turned Into "Living Factories" for Fuels & Chemicals
This is how Amyris describes the production of this fuel:

The new fuel is made using the emerging science of synthetic biology. By altering the metabolic pathways of microorganisms, such as yeast, Amyris is able to engineer "living factories" that transform sugar into any one of 50,000 different molecules used in a wide variety of energy, pharmaceutical, and chemical applications. Amyris is working on the development and commercialization of several of these molecules to provide a range of renewable products, including diesel fuel, jet fuel and specialty chemicals.

via: Biofuels Digest
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