Fuelling Tomorrow with the News of Yesterday
by Manuel Arias (The Starfish) …One alternative, proposed by researchers at Tulane University, explores the ability of a new bacterial strain named TU-103, which can effectively convert cellulose from paper into butanol biofuel. When you consider that over 300 million tons of cellulose-containing materials are discarded each year, the numbers are quite staggering.
…The discovery of TU-103, however, is special in that it can convert cellulose even in the presence of oxygen, whereas all other processes in the past have involved strict oxygen-free conditions. Researchers hope that will significantly reduce costs in butanol production, and further studies suggest that cellulose-derived biofuels, especially from wood, are likely to become an economically competitive industry by the year 2020 thanks to high energy security and abundant bioavailability. In fact, cellulose is the most abundant organic material on earth, and unlike the raw materials for corn biofuels, may be derived from non-food crop sources. READ MORE and MORE (Tulane University)