Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Chula's Yeast Fuel to Expand Production for the Aerospace Industry


Chula researchers use forage grass to feed microorganisms and convert the resulting fat into jet fuel, aiming to replace petroleum-based energy and reduce impacts on human health and the environment. 

BANGKOK, April 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The "Development of scaling-up technology for production of microbial lipid for biojet fuel synthesis" research project led by Prof. Dr. Warawut Chulalaksananukul and Asst. Prof. Dr. Chompunuch Glinwong from the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University has been successful in the separation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast (CU-TPD4 strain), which has a high potential for fat accumulation and production of bio-jet fuel to support the increasing demand for energy in the future.

Chula’s Yeast Fuel to Expand Production for the Aerospace Industry
Chula’s Yeast Fuel to Expand Production for the Aerospace Industry

"S. cerevisiae is classified as a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) microorganism and is known to have been used for a long time in the food industry. Yet, it has not been used for the industrial production of fat."

"Using oleaginous yeast as a feedstock for biofuel production has several advantages over using plants as an oil source." Yeast has a short life cycle, can be cultivated on a variety of foods, is cheap, and requires little labor. It can be cultivated at any time, and scaling up production is simple. It is safe for both humans and the environment. In addition, the process also makes use of agricultural waste, which is part of driving the circular economy and reducing air pollution problems from the burning of agricultural waste.

The project has received funding from the National Research Council of Thailand and collaboration from three doctoral students from the Department of Botany, namely Dr. Nuttha Chuengcharoenpanich, Dr. Wannaporn Wattanasunthorn, and Mr. Thanapong Tangwanaphrai, as well as Dr. Surisa Suwannarangsee from the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology under the National Science and Technology Development Agency. The team also collaborated with Chinese researchers, such as Prof. Zhongming Wang and Prof. Wei Qi from the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Science (GIEC). 

This research has also attracted interest from researchers from such institutions as Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Germany and Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI) in France, who saw the opportunity to expand the CU-TPD4 yeast leavening in oil production along with bread, alcohol, and other food products.

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Source : Chula's Yeast Fuel to Expand Production for the Aerospace Industry

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