New lignin 'lite' switchgrass boosts biofuel yield by more than one-third
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 14, 2011 — Bioethanol from new lines of native perennial prairie grass could become less costly because of plant engineering by The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and fermentation research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers describe their transgenic version of switchgrass as one that produces about one-third more ethanol by fermentation than conventional switchgrass. This improved plant feedstock will be able to generate more biofuel per acre, benefiting not only the transportation sector but also the growers and farming community.
"Recalcitrance, or a plant's natural defenses against insects, fungus and the weather, is widely acknowledged as being the single biggest barrier to the production of biofuel and biochemicals from switchgrass and other lignocellulosic materials," said Jonathan Mielenz, a co-author and member of the Department of Energy lab's BioEnergy Science Center.
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Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 2011-02-15 12:08