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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.
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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 renewable fuel.

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

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