Researchers at the Energy Department's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of the bacteria to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into all three types of transportation fuels -- gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.
From transporting the oil necessary to fuel jets and vehicles to supplying battery packs to infantry, energy plays a central role in almost everything the U.S. military does. Because of this reliance, it’s imperative that the military cultivate energy sources that are not subject to the whims of outside nations. While renewables like solar are playing a large role in this effort, advanced biofuels produced domestically are rapidly becoming another choice for transportation fuel.
Employees from around the country were honored at the 2011 Sustainability Awards last week for driving initiatives that reduce the Energy Department’s use of energy, water and paper, cut down on its waste, and make our buildings and vehicles more efficient.
For many, a barrel of oil is almost synonymous with its most prominent product, gasoline. While almost 40% of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline, the rest is used to produce a host of products including jet fuel and plastics and many industrial chemicals. As the United States works to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, we must recognize the complexity of that dependence and work to replace the whole barrel.