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A long-abandoned fermentation process once used to turn starch into explosives can be used to produce renewable diesel fuel, say scientists.
“The extractive fermentation process uses less than 10 percent of the energy of a conventional distillation to get the butanol and acetone out—that is the big energy savings,” says UC Berkeley Professor Harvey Blanch.
While the fuel’s cost is still higher than diesel or gasoline made from fossil fuels, the scientists say the process would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, one of the major contributors to global climate change.
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