In the quest for alternatives to soybeans, palm, and other edible oilseed plants as sources for biodiesel production, enter an unlikely new candidate: A fungus, or mold, that produces and socks away large amounts of oils that are suitable for low-cost, eco-friendly biodiesel.
That’s the topic of a study in ACS’ journal Energy & Fuels.
Victoriano Garre and colleagues point out that manufacturers usually produce biodiesel fuel from plant oils — such as rapeseed, palm, and soy. However, expanded production from those sources could foster shortages that mean rising food prices. In addition, oilseeds require scare farmland, and costly fertilizers and pesticides.