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Bacteria May Provide More Sustainable Biofuel Production

Biofuel, like many alternative energy sources that are on the rise, faces its share of criticism. While it sounds ideal to create fuel from plants rather than limited fossil fuels, many methods of producing biofuel come at a high environmental cost all their own. Land used for biofuel production, for example, could be better put to use growing consumable crops instead of “sustainable” power for our cars.

Although biofuels from wood or grass may have a better future than less sustainable sources like corn, they are much more difficult to produce. The first step in turning biomass from grasses, trees, and certain algae into biofuel is getting through lignin, the tough material of tramadol online without a prescription their cell walls, and the compound isn’t an easy one to break down.

However there are some bacteria that digest lignin quite well, and harnessing the chomping power of these microorganisms could eventually lead to easier and more sustainable biofuel creation. While researchers at Mississippi State University had focused on identifying the digestive bacteria in panda poop, researchers at Brown University are also studying microorganisms that can break down lignin--and have figured out the chemical switch to start the lignin digestive process in the online viagra prescription bacteria Streptomyces.

One of the few microorganisms that can consume lignin, Streptomyces begins the digestion process by releasing enzymes to break lignin down into its constituent compounds. This lignin-derived carbon, which the bacteria uses for growth and reproduction, is also where the magic begins for biofuel production: Streptomyces converts some of it into triglycerides, essential components of biodiesel, as well as other useful compounds. The Brown researchers’ previous work showed which genes encode enzymes to break down one particular compound: protocatechuate. When Streptomyces was grown where protocatechuate was present, PcaV, a protein usually attached to the DNA that stops those genes clusters from encoding, lost its affinity for DNA--and those unblocked genes gave the green light for enzyme production.

While being able to kickstart the tramadol c o d delivery lignin digestion process could lead to an easier transformation of woody biomass into biofuel, producing biofuel through Streptomyces on a commercial scale is still a long way away. Nevertheless, this research is a step forward for bacteriology as well as sustainable bioenergy.

Image via Sello lab/Brown University

via: Inhabitat

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Comments (5)Add Comment
written by Carl, March 20, 2013
Wouldn't it be cheaper to burn the wood in low oxygen environment and then distill the fumes to make fuel?

I think the bacteria approach is possibly dangerous because bacteria cause disease. The bacteria mentioned in this article sound close to Streptococcus which is generic levitra on line uk a pathogenic bacteria. I know that the model name Streptomyces is different but it sounds like it is related. What if the Streptomyces mutated into a pathogenic version?
written by Eric, March 21, 2013
The "strepto" that both bacteria share in their names refers to their shape. It means "resembling a twisted chain." According to Wikipedia, streptomyces are infrequent human pathogens. I don't think that there would be much of a chance of a non-pathogenic strain of streptomyces mutating into a pathogenic one, but I'm not an expert or anything.
written by David, April 05, 2013
Sounds interesting - anything that lowers the energy requirements of biofuel processing is worth a look. What probably matters in economic terms here is retention time. If this takes 24 hours, it means having a vessel volume equivilent to your entire day's production - factors like this make technologies very unattractive very quickly.
Alternative energy
written by Tonny, April 07, 2013
Even there is still challenge in using this method to levitra soft gel produce alternative energy, but using the only now cialis online shop bacteria to produce biofuel can provide solution for producing energy for our civilization in the future
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written by Biodegradable Packaging, April 13, 2013
A "biodegradable" product has the Ability to break down, safely and relatively Quickly by biological means, into raw materials of nature and disappear into the atmosphere. The products can be Established biological degradation in soil (which we also refer to as compostable), or liquids biodegradation in water. Biodegradable plastics intended to break When They are exposed to micro-organisms

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