With this book, the authors intend to provide insight into three new promising and innovative pathways for the biological production of the main transportation biofuels: biodiesel, ethanol and methane. The pathways described are nonconventional and provide higher product yields, less stringent feedstock specifications, lower chemical additive demand, lower waste production and much better energy balances when compared to the more traditional production methods, especially for biodiesel and ethanol. It is the result of a seven-year journey in the field of biofuel research and development and originated from the principle of “making better use of waste streams and resources”. Han van Kasteren from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Alwin Hoogendoorn from Ingenia Consultants and Engineers found each other in this common aim. Combining the research experience from the TU/e and the practical experience from Ingenia appeared to be a success formula for increasing the know-how and application of new processes for biofuels. Since the use of biofuels is increasingly more accepted and growing, the efforts seem to have paid off. Still, much has to be done since biofuel production is still in its infancy and there is a lot of room for improvement in order to become the dominant transportation fuel. At the turning point from infancy to adulthood, it is time for a moment to give guidance and look ahead to the developments of new promising pathways for biofuels. This turning point, in addition to a world oil production that is struggling to meet demand, has been the main driver for the authors to write this book and they hope the reader finds much wisdom and insights in this book for a bright biofuel future.
Alwin Hoogendoorn and Han van Kasteren