Separations often account for the majority of operational costs and energy consumption in the production of bioproducts. Accordingly, judicious development of new separations technology can direct the development of an entire bioprocess. In this publication researchers from the separations consortium demonstrate that ester bioproducts may represent “greener” metabolic targets than their commonly produced carboxylic acid counterparts due to more facile separation, and thus microbial ester production could be a strategic approach to increase sustainability of renewable platform chemicals. Specifically, bio-based esters require ~4x less energy to separate than their commonly produced carboxylic acid counterparts, use non-toxic extractants in the process, are less corrosive, and can be chemically converted to renewable fuels using identical reactions. More details.