Oil from Plants


The Department of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program supported Dr. Calvin's work through 1987. Work in the later years focused on the mechanism and regulation of triterpene biosynthesis. The long-term goal was genetic manipulation to increase hydrocarbon yields. I don't know if the Berkeley program continued along those lines after DOE support ended.

The final report for the DOE work was published as "Hydrocarbons and Energy from Plants: Final Report 1984-1987. Melvin Calvin et al. August, 1988. ORNL/Sub/84-90435/1. 145pp. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831. I checked the Oak Ridge distribution files. We have two copies left, which I'll be glad to send to the first two requesters. After that the report can be obtained from the National Technical Information Service. U.S. Department of Commerce. 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161. There is no electronic version.

About 1990 the Department of Energy reorganized its renewable energy programs into end use (transportation, power, industry, buildings) sectors. Biomass didn't fall neatly into the new organization chart. Parts of the former Biomass Energy Systems Division are primarily in the Office of Utility Technologies (Biomass Power Program http://www.eren.doe.gov/biopower/program.html and the Office of Transportation Technologies (Office of Fuels Development http://www.esd.ornl.gov/bfdp/). Programs in the Office of Fuels Development include the Regional Biomass Energy Program and the Biofuels Feedstock Development Program http://www.esd.ornl.gov/bfdp/bfdpmain.htmlhttp://www.oit.doe.gov/ supports some feedstock-related research through the Forest Products component of its Industries of the Future program, and some research on chemicals from biomass. Janet

Dear List

I came across an article from 1982, on Prof. Melvin Calvin at Berkeley, and his research work into plants such as euphorbias yeilding hydrocarbons.

Has this work stopped? Anyone know the latest on this topic? Dr Beverley Berger was also mentioned as head of the DOE biomass energy technology division. Is this division still in existence?

Ian Bywater
Scott Convertech Ltd
P O Box 13-776
New Zealand

Ph: +64 33 77 93 92
Fx: +64 33 79 33 03

Janet H. Cushman
Biofuels Feedstock Development Program
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6422

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