As oil reserves deplete and the consequences of several generations' worth of carbon emissions are beginning to be experienced, attention is increasingly turning to alternative sources of energy – not least those that may substitute for petrol and diesel as liquid transport fuels. There is already precedent for the use of ethanol as a fuel for road vehicles, but to produce alcohol-based fuels that are sustainable, affordable and do not displace food production is not a trivial matter. As a discipline, biochemistry has a lot to offer in the development of biofuels along every step of the pipeline.

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