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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2006 Jun;17(3):305-14. Epub 2006 May 4.

Microbial biocatalyst developments to upgrade fossil fuels.

Author information

1
Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, IL 60018, USA. john.kilbane@gastechnology.org

Abstract

Steady increases in the average sulfur content of petroleum and stricter environmental regulations concerning the sulfur content have promoted studies of bioprocessing to upgrade fossil fuels. Bioprocesses can potentially provide a solution to the need for improved and expanded fuel upgrading worldwide, because bioprocesses for fuel upgrading do not require hydrogen and produce far less carbon dioxide than thermochemical processes. Recent advances have demonstrated that biodesulfurization is capable of removing sulfur from hydrotreated diesel to yield a product with an ultra-low sulfur concentration that meets current environmental regulations. However, the technology has not yet progressed beyond laboratory-scale testing, as more efficient biocatalysts are needed. Genetic studies to obtain improved biocatalysts for the selective removal of sulfur and nitrogen from petroleum provide the focus of current research efforts.

PMID:
16678400
DOI:
10.1016/j.copbio.2006.04.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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