Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Breakthrough in quest to turn seaweed into biofuels

According to research, the prospective ethanol yield from brown seaweed is approximately two times higher than that from sugarcane and five times higher than maize, from the same area of cultivation. But its full potential cannot be reached because of the inability of industrial microbes to break down alginate, one of the three most abundant sugars in brown seaweed, commonly known as kelp, which is the most widely grown seaweed in the world. Now, researchers based in Chile, France and the United States say that they have developed the first microbe capable of fermenting all the major sugars found in a common species of brown seaweed (Saccharinna japonica). Link to full article available here.

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