Old 04-25-2008, 01:50 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Solar Powered Microbes Manufacture Biofuels

esocid alerts us to news that scientists from the University of Texas at Austin have created a microbe capable of making cellulose, which can then be turned into ethanol. The bacteria use sunlight as an energy source, and the cellulose can be harvested without destroying them. Quoting: "The new cyanobacteria produce a relatively pure, gel-like form of cellulose that can be broken down easily into glucose. 'The problem with cellulose harvested from plants is that it's difficult to break down because it's highly crystalline and mixed with lignins [for structure] and other compounds,' Nobles says. He was surprised to discover that the cyanobacteria also secrete large amounts of glucose or sucrose, sugars that can be directly harvested from the organisms."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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