Dr. James Liao, co-founder of EASEL and Chancellor’s Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA, was today announced the co-winner of the Eni “Renewable and Non-Conventional Energy” Award, an internationally renowned acknowledgement for research in the fields of energy and the environment. The award highlights Dr. Liao’s pioneering work in using modified forms of E. coli bacteria to convert wood cellulose biomass, waste proteins and carbon dioxide into useful chemical compounds and fuels, achieving high conversion and energy efficiency. For more information, please read the official press articles from ENI and UCLA.
Dr. James Liao, co-founder of EASEL and Chancellor’s professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Recognized by NAE for his “advances in metabolic engineering of microorganisms to produce fuels and chemicals”, Dr. Liao is among 2,250 US members and 211 foreign associates to receive this high professional distinction since the NAE’s foundation in 1964. For more information, please read the official press articles from the National Academy of Engineering and UCLA.
The White House honored James C. Liao, EASEL co-founder and UCLA Chancellor’s Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, as a Champion of Change in Renewable Energy for his work advancing new ideas that are leading the way to a clean energy future and a sustainable economy. The Champions of Change Program recognizes “ordinary Americans who are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” For more information, please read the official description by the White House. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/innovators-in-renewable-energy/james-liao)
EASEL’s scientific team report on a method to store electrical energy as chemical energy in higher alcohols in genetically engineered lithoautotrophic microorganism, Ralstonia eutropha H16 in the journal Science. One of the major challenges in using electrical energy is the efficiency in its storage. These results open the possibility of electricity-driven bioconversion of CO2 to commercial chemicals. Click here to read the original article in Science.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with support from the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute, today awarded the prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award to EASEL Biotechnologies for developing the world’s first biofuels derived from recycled carbon dioxide (CO2). These breakthroughs are described in EASEL Co-Founder and UCLA Professor James C. Liao’s work, “Recycling Carbon Dioxide to Biosynthesize Higher Alcohols.” Past recipients of Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award include Eastman Chemical, Proctor and Gamble and Merck & Co.
Click here for detailed information on the award.
EASEL was awarded $4 million through a U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E grant to power direct liquid fuel production in genetically engineered microorganisms that use electricity instead of sunlight for biological carbon dioxide fixation and fuel synthesis. This process will repurpose carbon dioxide to create liquid transportation fuel that is cost competitive with traditional gasoline-based fuels and more efficient than existing biofuels. Click here for complete project description.