The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Monday, June 18, that Princeton professors José Avalos and Haw Yang are two of the 31 recipients for three years of funding to “further the ongoing revolution in biology and biotechnology.”
Avalos, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, is researching branched chain alcohols (including isobutanol and isopentanol), which are promising biofuels. These alcohols have better fuel properties than bioethanol, said Avalos, because they have higher energy density, their refinement is less expensive and energy intensive, and they are much more compatible with current fuel use and distribution infrastructure. Avalos’ project will study BCA production and tolerance in yeast, with a goal of making these biofuels more economically competitive.
A longer version of this story originally appeared on the Princeton University homepage.