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Bio-designing yeast to improve biofuels


February 17, 2016
By Digital Journal

February 17, 2016 – Scientists have engineered a new strain of yeast designed to create biofuel from switchgrass, turning the collected cellulosic biomass into an energy alternative. The process is described together with a review of biofuel progress.

Biofuels are much spoken about as the next generation energy source for vehicles and many industrial applications. So far, the full realization of that potential has been hampered by discovering the right types of microorganisms and imperfections with the process of making biofuel, which hampers the yield.

Biofuel refers to a fuel produced through a biological process, as opposed to fuels created through geological processes as with petroleum. There are different types of biofuels and different types of microorganisms โ€” algae, fungi (yeasts and filamentous) and bacteria โ€” are involved in the different production processes. Another variation is with the source material. Where plant matter is used (as the basis of the ‘biomass’), it is not only the type of plant that is important; different efficiencies even go as far down as the arrangement of the molecules in plant cell walls.

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