Corinne Scown, a brown-haired person wearing glasses and a purple collared shirt, smiles for a headshot in front of a gray background.

Sustainable transportation fuels

Carbon negative biorefineries

Techno-economic analysis

Biofuel process development and scale-up

Bio-advantaged fuels

Scientist in goggles adjusting small plants in a lab. Scientist working at a biofuels processing building. Nurgul Kaplan (front) and Tad Ogorzalek work in the Robots Room on DNA construction and robotics at the Agile BioFoundry. Two scientists working on a plant root sample. Plane flying overhead framed by trees. Four people gathered around a computer desk smiling Scientist working on a beamline. Scientists working at a colorful computer. Exterior view of a glowing energy industrial factory at sunset. Taek Soon Lee, a person with short black hair wearing glasses and a red and white checkered collared shirt. Photographed outdoors with green foliage in the background.

Taek Soon Lee is the director of Pathway and Metabolic Engineering at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and a staff scientist in the Biosciences Area. His research focuses on identifying potential drop-in biofuels and building and optimizing the metabolic pathway to produce these target fuels in microbes.

Deepika Awasthi, a person with medium-length dark hair, wearing a light jacket and a blue top, smiles for a headshot outdoors.

Deepika Awasthi is a project scientist in the Biological Systems and Engineering Division and in the Microbial & Enzyme Discovery group at JBEI. Her research focuses on bioenergy and biomanufacturing by combining synthetic biology and metabolic engineering to develop microbial systems for better utilization of biomass and gaseous one-carbon substrates.

Eric Sundstrom, a person with short blonde hair wearing a gray suit over a white collared shirt and a pink tie. Photographed outdoors, with green foliage in the background.

Eric Sundstrom is a staff scientist within the Biosciences Area and leader of the fermentation team within the Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU). His research focuses on process development, integration, and scale-up for biomanufacturing, including development of sustainable aviation fuels and utilization of gaseous feedstocks.

Digital collage of plane flying through the air fueled by crops. Corinne Scown, a brown-haired person wearing glasses and a purple collared shirt, smiles for a headshot in front of a gray background.

Every year, airplanes crisscrossing U.S. skies burn 23 billion gallons of fuel, leaving contrails and 8% of the nation’s transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in their wake. A recent study reveals which crop-based feedstocks offer the greatest potential for a plentiful, cost-competitive, renewable alternative to petroleum-based jet fuel, while also maximizing atmospheric carbon removal.

Bioscientist Anne Villacastin is using genetics to supercharge the growing power of sorghum, a cereal plant that humans have been cultivating for millennia. By adding genes from wheat, Villacastin and her colleagues at the Joint BioEnergy Institute are making sorghum strains that grow tall and robust with very little water, so farmers can produce large quantities of the crop at low cost and low environmental impact. In the near future, this sorghum could bolster global food supplies and serve as a carbon source for the production of affordable biofuels, which can help mitigate fossil-fuel driven climate change.

View of sugarcane from worms eye perspective. A purple gloved hand holding a transparent box with a plant inside. Closeup of a swamp wetland. Shadows from plants on the water surface covered with duckweed. Scientist holding a sample in a small sample jar. Aerial view of geothermal pools. View of highway at sunrise with a semi coming toward the viewer.