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Biofuels: Think Outside the Barrel

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Title: Biofuels: Think Outside the Barrel


1
Biofuels Think Outside the Barrel
Vinod Khosla Khosla Ventures March 2007
2
Implausible Assertions?
  • We dont need oil for cars light trucks
  • We definitely dont need hydrogen!
  • We dont need new car/engine designs/distribution
  • Rapid changeover of automobiles is possible!
  • Little cost to consumers, automakers, government

3
Energy Balance Not Your Fathers Ethanol
Different corn ethanol production methods have
different emissions
Typical corn ethanol production reduces carbon
emissions 20
Cellulosic ethanol can achieve dramatic
greenhouse gas reductions …even negative emissions
Source NRDC
4
Why Now? Projected World Oil Prices (EIA)
Alternative Technology Viability Zone
Source EIA Reports
5
Brazil sugar-cane/ethanol learning curve Liters
of ethanol produced per hectacre since between
1975 to 2004
30,000??
6
Technology Progression
Synthetic Biorefinery
Thermochemical
Gasification
Bioengineering
Many companies, multiple solutions …all improving
trajectory
?
Fuel Chemistry
Computational Modeling
Corn
Energy crops
Algae
Plant Breeding
Synthetic Biology
Cellulosic Bioethanol
Systems Biology
7
Energy Crops Miscanthus
1 years growth without replanting!
Little water, little fertilizer, no tillage, lots
of biomass, ….energy crops make it possible
20 tons/acre? (www.bical.net) 10-30 tons/acre
(www.aces.uiuc.edu/DSI/MASGC.pdf)
8
Large Improvements Are Visible
Conservative Cellulosic (24tpy/108gpt)
Brazil Energy Cane
Sugar Cane Baggasse (11 tpy/102gpt)
Cellulosic (10tpy/100gpt)
Corn, Cellulose, Cane Today
Biodiesel
9
Even Failure is Success!
50 less ethanol per acre and we only eliminate
our gasoline imports!
10
A Darwinian IQ Test?
  • Feed mid-east terrorism or mid-west farmers?
  • Import expensive gasoline or use cheaper ethanol?
  • Create farm jobs or mid-east oil tycoons?
  • Fossil fuels or green fuels?
  • ANWR oil rigs or prairie grass fields?
  • Gasoline cars or cars with fuel choices?

11
DOE Funded Companies
12
The Near Future…
Glycerin
Natural Oils
Transesterification
BioDiesel (FAME or FAEE)
Methanol/Ethanol
Ethanol, Butanol, Renewable Petroleum FermDiesel
Fermentation
ETG via catalysis
Biogasoline
Sugars/ Starch
Dimethylfuran
Catalytic Conversion
Gasoline, Diesel, Hydrocarbons
Catalysis and Aqueous phase Reforming
Algae
Sunlight CO2
Cell Mass
BioDiesel (FAME or FAEE)
Hydrocracking
Ethanol
Fermentation
Butanol
Cellulose/ Hemicellulose
C6, C5 Sugars
Acid or Enzyme Hydrolysis
Saccharification
Diesel
Mixalco Process
Mixed Higher Alcohol
Biomass
Syngas Fermentation
Ethanol
Microbial cultures
Methane
Gasification
Syngas
Fischer-Tropspch catalysis
BTL Diesel
Waste
13
Biodiesel
The Near Future…
Glycerin
Natural Oils
Transesterification
Ethanol Sugar Fermentation
BioDiesel (FAME or FAEE)
Methanol/Ethanol
Ethanol, Butanol, Renewable Petroleum FermDiesel
Fermentation
Dimethylfuran Catalysis
ETG via catalysis
Biogasoline
Sugars/ Starch
Dimethylfuran
Catalytic Conversion
Gasoline/Diesel Aqueous Reforming
Gasoline, Diesel, Hydrocarbons
Catalysis and Aqueous phase Reforming
Biodiesel - Algae
Algae
Sunlight CO2
Cell Mass
BioDiesel (FAME or FAEE)
Hydrocracking
Ethanol Cellulose Hydrolysis Fermentation
Ethanol
Fermentation
Cellulose/ Hemicellulose
Gevo
C6, C5 Sugars
Acid or Enzyme Hydrolysis
Saccharification
Fermdiesel, Butanol
Mixalco Process
Mixed Higher Alcohol
Methane Microbial Cultures
Biomass
Syngas Fermentation
Ethanol
Microbial cultures
Methane
Feedstock Supply Volume
Ethanol Syngas Fermentation
Gasification
Syngas
Biodiesel, Ethanol FT and Catalysis
Fischer-Tropspch catalysis
BTL Diesel
Higher Alcohols Mixalco Process
Increasing Technological Difficulty
Waste
14
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15
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16
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17
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18
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19
Potential of Synthetic Biology
Synthetic Biology
Fermentation Diesel
Synthetic Biology Fermentation DieselX
Anti-Malarial
Gene 3
Gene 1
Gene 4
Gene 2
Gene 1
Custom-Built Microbe
Source of genes
Recombinant Small Molecule Bio-Synthetic Pathway
Artimisinin
20
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21
Disruptive Technology in a Large Established
Market
22
Butanol, the old fashioned way…
23
Gevo Metabolic Engineering Approach
Biomass Hydrolysate
BUTANOL
CO2 ethanol
lactate acetone
formate hydrogen . . .
A recombinant strains containing a butanol
pathway produces butanol in addition to other
products.
24
Gevo Metabolic Engineering Approach
Biomass Hydrolysate
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
BUTANOL
Classical and genetic techniques are used to
improve butanol tolerance.
25
Cellulosic Status
  • DOE Six worthy biorefinery grants
  • Multiple demo plants under construction
  • Various technologies, feedstocks and geographies
    in play
  • Question is no longer if but PRICE

President sets 35b gallon goal!
26
…and this is just the beginning
…imagine the map in 2017!
27
...replaced all 300 Billion lbs of plastics ?
…how much land would it take?
28
Oil Refinery Concept
29
Bio-Refinery Concept
30
Twelve Platform Chemicals
Succinic Acid
FDCA
3-HP
Aspartic Acid
Glucanic Acid
Glutamic Acid
Itaconic Acid
Levulinic Acid
3-HDL
Glycerol
Sorbitol
Xylitol
31
Hieroglyphic Writings…
A version of graphic representation of Top 12
DOE platform chemicals from glucose
ca. 2000 A.D.
letters ? syllables ? words ? poems
32
…bottled water renewable???
33
1,3-propanediol
EEP
hydrogenation
poly(hydroxypropionate)
oxidation
3-hydroxypropionic acid
dehydration
acrylamide
malonic acid
acrylic acid
34
3-HP Derivatives
35
Succinic Acid as a Platform
Succinic Acid
Sources MBI, Zeikus, et.al 1999 Sado, et.al,
1980 Dake, et.al. 1987
36
Succinic Acid Derivatives
37
Lactic Acid As a Platform
Lactic Acid
38
PLA Derivatives
39
Levulinic Acid Derivatives
40
DuPont Sorona polymer part of polymer is
1,3-propanediol from fermentation
DuPont Sorona http//www.dupont.com/corp/news/dail
y/images/dn_photo_sorona270x270.jpg
DuPont Sorona http//www.azom.com/images/dn_photo_
swim229x275.jpg
DuPont Sonona http//www.jobwerx.com/images/DuPont
_sorona_apparel.jpg
41
…biases
  • …hybrids good
  • …corn ethanol bad
  • …biodiesel good
  • …nuclear bad

42
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43
…biodiesel relevance
44
A Change of Paradigm
Old
New
  • Heavy Metals
  • Organic
  • Petroleum
  • ? Environment
  • ? People
  • Higher inherent risk
  • ? Pressure
  • ? Temperature
  • Petroleum based
  • Rigid discipline silos
  • ? Enzymes
  • ? Organisms
  • ? Selective catalysts
  • Water
  • Renewable
  • Low to no negative
  • impacts
  • Lower inherent risk
  • Renewable energy
  • Cross discipline team

Catalyst Solvent System Raw Material
Source Harmful Impacts Production
Risk Energy _______ Sustainability
45
Biomass, Geopolitics Poverty
Biomass Poverty Belt
46
…or get to work vk_at_khoslaventures.com
47
a renewable universe…
vinod khosla, vk_at_khoslaventures.com
48
Nanostellar Codon Praj
Stion Ausra
Great Point Energy
Quos NanoH2o
Solar
Tools
Wind
Natural Gas
Water
Coal
Segetis Newco 3
Materials
Living Homes Global Homes
Homes
Plastics
Efficiency
Oil
Corn/ Sugar Fuels
Efficiency
Future Fuels
Cellulosic
Transonic GIV Seeo Newco2
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