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Electrofuel - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.

org/wiki/Electrofuel

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Electrofuels are an emerging class of carbon-neutral drop-in replacement fuels that are made by storing
electrical energy from renewable sources in the chemical bonds of liquid or gas fuels.[1][2] The primary targets
are butanol, biodiesel, and hydrogen, but include other alcohols and carbon-containing gasses such as methane
and butane.

A primary source of funding for research on liquid electrofuels for transportation is the Electrofuels Program of
the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), headed by Eric Toone.[3] ARPA-E, created in 2009
under President Obamas Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, is the Department of Energys (DOE) attempt to
duplicate the effectiveness of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA. Examples of projects
funded under this program include OPX Biotechnologies biodiesel effort led by Michael Lynch[4] and Derek
Lovleys work on microbial electrosynthesis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,[5] which reportedly
produced the first liquid electrofuel using CO2 as the feedstock. Descriptions of all ARPA-E Electrofuels
Program research projects can be found at the ARPA-E Electrofuels Program website.

The first Electrofuels Conference, sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers was held in
Providence, RI in November 2011.[6] At that conference, Director Eric Toone stated that "Eighteen months into
the program, we know it works. We need to know if we can make it matter." Several groups are beyond proof-
of-principle, and are working to scale up cost-effectively.

Electrofuels have the potential to be disruptive if carbon-neutral electrofuels can be cheaper than petroleum
fuels, and chemical feedstocks produced by electrosynthesis cheaper than those refined from crude oil.
Electrofuels also have a great potential to alter the renewable energy landscape, as electrofuels allow
renewables from all sources to be stored conveniently as a liquid fuel.

As of 2014, prompted by the fracking boom, ARPA-E's focus has moved from electrical feedstocks to
natural-gas based feedstocks, and thus away from electrofuels.[7]

ARPA-E
Bioelectrochemical reactor
Electrochemical cell
Electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide
Electrohydrogenesis
Electromethanogenesis
Enzymatic biofuel cell
Microbial electrosynthesis

1. Lovley, Derek (May 26, 2010). "Microbial Electrosynthesis: Feeding Microbes Electricity To Convert
Carbon Dioxide and Water to Multicarbon Extracellular Organic Compounds"
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921159). mBio. 1 (2): e0010310. PMC 2921159
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921159) . PMID 20714445
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20714445). doi:10.1128/mBio.00103-10 (https://doi.org

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Electrofuel - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrofuel

/10.1128%2FmBio.00103-10).
2. Reece, Steven Y.; Hamel, Jonathan A.; Sung, Kimberly; Jarvi, Thomas D.; Esswein, Arthur J.; Pijpers,
Joep J. H.; Nocera, Daniel G. (November 4, 2011). "Wireless Solar Water Splitting Using Silicon-Based
Semiconductors and Earth-Abundant Catalysts". Science. 334 (6056): 645648. PMID 21960528
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21960528). doi:10.1126/science.1209816 (https://doi.org
/10.1126%2Fscience.1209816).
3. "ELECTROFUELS: Microorganisms for Liquid Transportation Fuel" (http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-
e-programs/electrofuels). ARPA-E. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
4. "Novel Biological Conversion of Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide Directly into Free Fatty Acids"
(https://web.archive.org/web/20131010053204/http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-
e-projects%2Fengineering-bacteria-efficient-fuel-production). ARPA-E. Archived from the original
(http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-projects/engineering-bacteria-efficient-fuel-production) on October
10, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
5. "Electrofuels Via Direct Electron Transfer from Electrodes to Microbes" (https://web.archive.org
/web/20131010052121/http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-projects%2Fbiofuels-solar-energy-
and-bacteria-0). ARPA-E. Archived from the original (http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-projects
/biofuels-solar-energy-and-bacteria-0) on October 10, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
6. "SBE's Conference on Electrofuels Research" (http://www.aiche.org/sbe/conferences/conference-
electrofuels-research/2011). American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
7. Biello, David (March 20, 2014). "Fracking Hammers Clean Energy Research"
(http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fracking-hammers-clean-energy-research/). Scientific
American. Retrieved April 14, 2014. "The cheap natural gas freed from shale by horizontal drilling and
hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) has helped kill off bleeding-edge programs like Electrofuels, a bid to use
microbes to turn cheap electricity into liquid fuels, and ushered in programs like REMOTE, a bid to use
microbes to turn cheap natural gas into liquid fuels."

Lovett, Richard A. (June 17, 2013). "Electrofuels: Charged Microbes May "Poop Out" a Gasoline
Alternative" (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/06/130617-electrofuels-using-
microbes-to-make-biofuel/). National Geographic. Retrieved July 23, 2013.

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