Natural citrus scent may produce renewable solvents, fuel

Read the full story in Biomass Magazine.

A natural citrus scent called limonene may be the key to sustainability when it comes to making fragrances, solvents and perhaps even jet fuel, according to South Dakota State University doctoral student Charles Halfmann.

The Luverne, Minn., native has been working with associate professor Ruanbao Zhou of the SDSU Department of Biology and Microbiology to create genetically engineered cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, that are capable of producing limonene.

Limonene is among a class of naturally emitted plant long-chain carbon chemicals called isoprenoids with biofuel potential.

A paper on his work has been published in Green Chemistry, a journal that features research on sustainable technologies. His work is supported by the Sun Grant Initiative, which promotes collaboration among researchers from land-grant institutions, government agencies and the private sector to develop bio-based transportation fuels.

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