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Posted Wed Mar 16 2011: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Isobutanol directly from cellulose
Using consolidated bioprocessing, a team led by James Liao of the University of California at Los Angeles for the first time produced isobutanol directly from cellulose. The team's work, published online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, represents across-the-board savings in processing costs and time, plus isobutanol is a higher grade of alcohol than ethanol. "Unlike ethanol, isobutanol can be blended at any ratio with gasoline and should eliminate the need for dedicated infrastructure in tanks or vehicles," said Liao.... "Plus, it may be possible to use isobutanol directly in current engines without modification."... While cellulosic biomass like corn stover and switchgrass is abundant and cheap, it is much more difficult to utilize than corn and sugar cane. This is due in large part because of recalcitrance, or a plant's natural defenses to being chemically dismantled.... The researchers noted that their strategy exploits the host's natural cellulolytic activity and the amino acid biosynthetic pathway and diverts its intermediates to produce higher alcohol than ethanol.
[Read more stories about: technological innovation, alternative energy, carbon emissions, GMOs]

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'Doc Michael says:
These guys are really smart. How come they're not in banking, or something productive like that?

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