Saturday, January 21, 2012

Scientists claim major breakthrough in seaweed biofuel

Source: The Raw Story
A team at the Berkeley, California-based Bio Architecture Lab engineered a form of E. coli bacteria that can digest seaweed’s sugars into ethanol, it said.

“Our scientists have engineered an enzyme to degrade and a pathway to metabolize the alginate, allowing us to utilize all the major sugars in seaweed," said Daniel Trunfio, chief executive at Bio Architecture Lab. The advance “makes the biomass an economical feedstock for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals,” he said.

Seaweed is seen as an appealing option for biofuel because, unlike corn and sugar cane, it does not use arable land and so does not compete with crops grown for food.

At peak production, seaweed could produce 19,000 liters per hectare annually, about twice the level of ethanol productivity from sugarcane and five times higher than the ethanol productivity from corn.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Raw Story

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