Mustard family member seen as biofuel source

Read the full story at Biomass Magazine.

Lesquerella (a.k.a. Fendler’s bladderpod and Yellow Top) is a member of the mustard family that’s native to the U.S. Southwest. But Agricultural Research Service scientists are now eyeing it as a home-grown source of butanol.

Butanol is a cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline that was produced worldwide until after World War II, when making this fuel from petroleum sources proved more efficient than fermenting it from corn and molasses.

Now, using the latest advances in fermentation and product-recovery technology, a team at ARS’ National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois, hopes to rekindle the production of butanol as a biobased fuel, among other groups.

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