In a recent publication, Chalmers and Biopetrolia-affiliated researchers demonstrate for the first time the production of gasoline and diesel constituents using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Until now, production of biofuels in yeast was limited to low energy molecules, such as ethanol. These are only compatible with modern transportation fuels in a low percentage. Higher energy molecules, such as alkanes (the main constituent of modern fuels such as diesel and gasoline) are therefore important to produce in a sustainable way. In this publication, researchers show it is possible to produce these same alkanes from sugar in a renewable way. This discovery opens up a possible reality where a renewable biofuel produced using yeast cells is totally compatible with modern transportation fuels.