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Production of Fatty Acids from Agricultural Waste via Non-Photosynthetic Microbe

UW ID: 18-003

Description of Technology

          Fatty acids (FA) are a valuable chemical and can be used in a variety of applications, including the creation of biodiesel fuel. Currently, biodiesel is produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, and algal lipids. The current production method is limited by high cost and low efficiency. Biodiesel has the potential to greatly reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil if a better production method is found.

          Researchers at the University of Wyoming have invented a new way of creating fatty acids from agricultural waste, instead of either engineered feedstocks or dedicated crops like current methods, which lowers costs. The new method works by growing a fungal plant pathogen on the agricultural waste which accumulates FA as it grows. The new method also creates FA in a single-step process compared to the current two-step process, further reducing costs and increasing production. The fatty acids produced using this new method could then be used to create biodiesels at a lower cost.



          Biofuels have applications in many industries because of their ability to replace traditional fossil fuels. They can be used to power vehicles or power plants, and estimated to create less emissions than regular gasoline. This technology makes it easier and more efficient to create biofuels and therefore can be a great benefit to any company trying to create biofuels or even farmers with extra agricultural waste.


Features & Benefits

  • Creates fatty acids from agricultural waste

  • Produces fatty acids in only one step

  • Microbe and feedstock combinations do not exist in nature making this process truly unique

  • Can run process as either single pass or multi-pass

Downloadable PDF: 18-003


Karen Wawrousek

Erica Belmont

Kurt Stahlfeld

Patent Status:  

Patent Pending

Contact Us: 

University of Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center 

Dept. 3672

1000 E. University Ave. 

Laramie, WY 


Phone: 307-766-2520

Fax: 307-766-2530


Contact Us

Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center

Dept. 3672

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2520

Fax: (307) 766-2530


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