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.

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.


Meet Thomas Brutnell, PH.D.

Meet Thomas Brutnell, PH.D.

As the Director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels, one of Tom’s primary objective for the programme is to expand their research portfolio to include ways to improve biofuels on a large-scale production level.


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 Institute for Renewable Fuels is committed to training collaborative teams from local high schools to focus on the fuels of the future.


Leaders of Tomorrow

The Enterprise 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.

Learn more about their discoveries
Woman looking under microscope