Easing Lignocellulosic Biofuel Production
(RenewableEnergyFocus.com) Following the discovery of the genes of two enzymes that toughen plants, researchers aim to breed non-food crops that require less processing, energy and chemicals to convert them into biofuel.
…Lead Researcher, Professor Paul Dupree, says: “There is a lot of energy stored in wood and straw in the form of a substance called lignocellulose. We wanted to find ways of making it easier to get at this energy and extract it in the form of sugars that can be fermented to produce bioethanol and other products.”
The team studied Arabidopsis plants that lack two of the enzymes that build the xylan in lignocellulose. Although these plants are slightly weaker than normal, they grow normally and reach a normal size.
When attempting to extract biofuel from these plants, the researchers found that it takes less effort to convert all the xylan into sugar. READ MORE