Research exploring new frontiers of energy using microorganisms such as yeast for the production of ethanol.
Category: Energy Frontiers
To create a society that can do without fossil fuels, it is necessary to make it possible to sustainably produce chemicals that can be used as fuel for cars, trucks and aircraft. Biotechnology offers the opportunity to design microorganisms for the production of such chemicals, which can be integrated directly into the existing energy infrastructure of our society. Professor Jens Nielsen’s research on “Yeast in Renewable Fuel and Chemical Production” has shown that through the engineering of the metabolism of baker’s yeast, already used industrially for bioethanol production, it is possible to improve the traditional production process, but also to produce chemicals that can be used as drop-in fuels for use with diesel and jet fuel. Moreover, a technical-economic analysis has shown that biotechnology-based production of these new biofuels could, if developed further, compete with petroleum-based fuels and make a significant contribution to the development of future energy solutions and a more sustainable society.
Launched in 2007 to recognise the best studies on efficiency, sustainability and environmental protection, the annual Eni Award is an international prize for applied research in the field of energy. Every year the competition involves many of the most important scientific institutions in the world as well as Eni's own in-house laboratories. The 2017 edition marks the 10th anniversary of the Eni Award, with important innovations regarding the competition's subject areas and the establishment of a new category. Called Debut in Research: Young Talents from Africa, this will be reserved for graduates of African universities.
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