People have used bioenergy for as long as there have been campfires, but the role of life sciences in today's energy industry goes well beyond producing agricultural feedstocks for biofuels. Rice University is a leading center for the advanced biotechnology and biomanufacturing research that is driving innovation, lowering costs, and reducing the environmental impact for today's chemical and petrochemical industries.

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Rice's leading research programs in metabolic pathway engineering, biocatalysis, and bioprocessing are pioneers in finding greener, more cost effective methods for producing biofuels and transforming heavy oil to light products. Key areas of research include:

  • Metabolic pathway analysis.
  • Process design from lab to industrial scales.
  • Complete life-cycle analysis of feedstocks, including examination of both cost and environmental footprint.
  • Biocatalysis.
  • Biobutanol and glycerol fermentation.
  • Biodiesel kinetics.

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Rice 's Energy and Environment Initiative can help assure progress toward marketplace targets by providing the interdisciplinary resources for full life-cycle design and assessment, including computational expertise, carbon-cycle assessment, and insight into the policy implications and policy outcomes that will drive process designs and reaction kinetics for the future.

To learn more about this topic, please contact these experts at Rice: Ramon GonzalezGeorge Bennett and Ka-Yiu San.