Fuels Research

It’s a commitment to fuel alternatives and the cutting-edge technologies of tomorrow.

Sustaining the environment for future generations

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels© is a research unit within the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center that was established in 2007 with a grant from the Taylor family. The mission of the Enterprise Institute is to create the next generation of alternative fuel technologies by enhancing the potential of oilseed crops, algae and bioenergy grasses as sources of sustainable bioenergy to someday be used to fuel cars, vans and aircraft.

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels© focuses on three key areas:

Boosting discovery by exploring the fundamental science of genes and systems and how they convert to solar energy and oils.

Driving innovation by developing new technologies to better understand the constraints of turning plants into fuels.

Accelerating research so that plant and algal-based oils can be produced for use on a commercial scale.

Scientist in laboratory

A US Shuttle Fleet That Runs On Alternative Fuels

We are embracing cleaner fuel and engine technologies in our US shuttle fleet with most of our buses running on cleaner fuels.

Sustainable Energy Research

In 2013, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation established an endowment for sustainable energy research at the University of Missouri. Early research shows that about 116 million acres of land along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are ideal for growing biomass, and using just five percent of that land could yield up to seven billion gallons of biofuel per year.

Scientific Highlights

Technologies are constantly evolving to enhance the potential of bioenergy crops that could someday be used to power cars, vans and aircraft. Additional research is focusing on ways to create renewable fuels from soybeans, camelina and other plant sources.



Licensed technologies to the private sector


Research collaborations with partners in the U.S., South America, Europe, Africa and Asia


Bioenergy patent applications

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels© is committed to training collaborative teams from local high schools to focus on the fuels of the future.

Next Generation Scientists

Leaders of Tomorrow

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels© is proud to involve students from local schools. Each year, hundreds of high school students, teachers and plant scientists participate in the Mutant Millets programme to help discover new plant traits. College and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees, are also trained in the labs.