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Bioenergy – Super microbe

 

A newly discovered microbe may offer a cost-effective solution that makes biofuel production more efficient. Researchers have found an anaerobic bacterium called Caldicellulosiruptor bescii that can degrade lignin, the hardy substance in plant cell walls that prevents the conversion of biomass into biofuel. Studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified the compounds released when the microbe degrades lignin and other components of cell walls, a process that leaves cellulose vulnerable to enzymatic degradation. This microorganism could eliminate expensive chemical pretreatments that are used before biomass can be converted to biofuel. The paper is published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. [Written by Jennifer Brouner]

 -  Ron Walli,  865.576.0226,  September 03, 2013
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