Biofuel Research: Possibilities Still Growing at University of Georgia
(Ledger-Enquirer) …Researchers at the University of Georgia may be close to finding it. A report by Susan Mittleman on Georgia Public Broadcasting and transcribed on the Public Broadcasting Atlanta website (pba.org) describes a promising new process for making ethanol and other biofuels from vegetation common to this area, such as switchgrass and pine or poplar trees.
The idea of making fuel from biomass is not new. But like corn-based ethanol, fuel synthesized from biomass has so far been too expensive to make it practical.
The difference, as UGA geneticist Janet Westpheling explained, is genetics — manipulating the DNA to make breaking down the raw materials cheaper and easier.
“Part of the conversion of really tough wood stuff like that,” Westpheling explained to GPB, “is that plants have evolved over millions of years to not be degraded by bacteria and the soil. But we work on bacteria that can eat the stuff … These organisms can do that without enzymes, without pre-treatment, which means they can do it economically.” READ MORE and MORE (Public Broadcasting Atlanta)