Algae, next provider of Sustainable fuel? Really?
Friday, 20 January 2012
Algae can become a new source of renewable fuels and chemicals.
Scientists have been able to develop bacteria that can turn the sugar
in brown algae into ethanol.
As the algae is
composed of a lot of sugar - the energy - the energy researchers and
energy industry have long had their eyes set on this ordinary water
plant, reports Swedish television science news program, Vetenskap.
And because algae does not require any land or fresh water to flourish
they do not compete with food crops, which so far has been a major
problem in promoting ethanol.
The problem of energy production from algae has been that the microbes,
which convert sugar, have struggled to digest the main sugar in the
algae. That barrier has allowed biofuel produced from grown algae too
expensive to ever seriously compete with fossil fuels.
But now researchers have managed to get e-coli bacteria to produce
enzymes that break down sugars in the grass. When the researchers
tampered with bacteria, they can also produce proteins in the cell
walls that can transport less sugar and ferment sugar ethanol - a
If this process can be scaled up effectively, algae may help to meet
the increasing demand for sustainable fuels, the researchers believe.
By Scancomark.se Team