January 26, 2009
Cheaper cellulosic ethanol on
Use a genetically engineered yeast to
break down agricultural waste but leave out the nutrient supplements
and some pretreatment steps, and you have a potentially inexpensive
source of ethanol.
Using a previously developed yeast strain to make ethanol
from corn stover can generate a commercially-viable 40 grams per liter.
The key is pretreating the feedstock with ammonia but skipping other
pretreatment steps, nutrient supplements and washing. Yields improved
by cutting out nutrient additives, counter to previous experience.
Yields of 52.5 grams per liter should be possible in the near
future, in part by developing yeast strains that convert complex as
well as simple sugars.
Simplifying the production of cellulosic ethanol promises
to lower costs and make cellulosic ethanol an economically competitive
Ethanol Production from AFEX-Treated Corn Stover Using Saccharomyces
Proceedings of the National Academy Of Sciences, published
online January 22, 2009
Related stories and briefs:
modified microbe cranks out ethanol -- related research
simplified -- related research
energy under fire -- position paper about biofuel metrics by Bruce
Back to ERN January 26/February 2, 2009
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