Synthesised bacteria could be promising source of bio-fuels

April 24th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 24 (IANS) A newly synthesised microbe produces cellulose that can be converted into ethanol and other bio-fuels, potentially cutting transportation costs, according to a study. R. Malcolm Brown Jr. and David Nobles Jr. of Texas University developed the microbe, cyanobacteria.

“It is potentially a very inexpensive source for sugars to use for ethanol and designer fuels,” said Nobles.

Brown and Nobles calculate a million square kilometres are required to produce ethanol with corn to fuel all US transportation needs.

But the biggest advantage of cyanobacteria is that an equal volume of ethanol can be produced from half the area, comprising wastelands, based on current lab production levels.

It has shown the potential for a 17-fold increase in productivity.

The new cyanobacteria use sunlight as an energy source to produce and excrete sugars and cellulose.

Glucose, cellulose and sucrose can be continually harvested without harming or destroying cyanobacteria.

The study appeared in the recent edition of the journal Cellulose.

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