Project Title: Improving Conversion of Syngas to Biofuels via Direct Monitoring and Control of CO/H2 in Bioreactors
PI: Dr. Hasan Atiyeh (Oklahoma State University, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering)
Co-PI: Dr. Ning Wang (Oklahoma State University)
Start Date: 1/1/2013 End Date: 12/31/2015
Successful completion of this project will involve the development of the CO/H2 monitoring system for biofuels production in syngas fermentation reactors. This team also plans to identify the operating conditions that maximize gas conversion and ethanol productivity and yield. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that U.S. transportation fuels contain at least 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels, including ethanol and butanol, by 2022. This shows the potential for a huge market for cellulosic ethanol. At an 80% ethanol theoretical yield from both H2 and CO, about 109 gallons of ethanol can be produced from one ton of biomass. The theoretical ethanol can be made at an estimated production cost of $1.41 per gallon, even though it is typically sold at prices above $2.00 per gallon.