Mike Goosey looks ahead to next generation of biofuels

Biochemist Mike Goosey of Shell describes the search for non-food sources for the ‘next generation’ of biofuels and the development of processes to convert them to fuel.

Mike Goosey: It’s when we get into the next generation of biofuels that a lot of the current research is focused.

Mike Goosey is a biochemist with Shell, talking about non-food based biofuels. Goosey spoke more about the raw material for “next generation” biofuels being developed.

Mike Goosey: One of these is called lignocellulose. Now lignocellulose is a tough molecule that makes up the “stiffness”, if you like, of the cell walls of plants.

Goosey said that lignocellulose can come from prairie grasses, fast-growing trees, waste from food crops, timber wastes, even post-consumer waste. And he also talked of lipids, essentially vegetable oils, for biofuels.

Mike Goosey: And next generation research is looking at sources of these vegetable oils such as algae and other inedible oily plants such as jatropha.

Today’s biofuels, bioethanol and biodiesel, are made by simply fermenting sugarcane, corn, or soybeans. But for the next generation of biofuels, the conversion processes are much more complicated and the subject of intense scientific research all over the world.

Mike Goosey: The process is very critical, and in that respect technology is vital for delivering the solutions that are facing us as a world.

This podcast was made possible in part by Shell – encouraging dialog on the energy challenge.

Our thanks to:
Mike Goosey
Shell Global Solutions
Thornton Research and Technology Center
near Cheshire, UK

Jorge Salazar