New possibilities for efficient biofuel production

New discovery could finally enable cheap cellulosic biofuels

Limited availability of fossil fuels stimulates the search for different energy resources. The use of biofuels is one of the alternatives. Sugars derived from the grain of agricultural crops can be used to produce biofuel but these crops occupy fertile soils needed for food and feed production.

An international collaboration of plant scientists from VIB and Ghent University (Belgium), the University of Dundee (UK), The James Hutton Institute (UK) and the University of Wisconsin (USA) identified a new gene in the biosynthetic pathway of lignin, a major component of plant secondary cell walls that limits the conversion of biomass to energy. These findings published online in this week’s issue of Science Express pave the way for new initiatives supporting a bio-based economy.

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Tags: poplar, eucalyptus, grass residues, corn stover, sugarcane bagasse, Science Express, Arabidopsis thaliana, cellulose fibres, paper, bioplastics


EurekAlert!, 2013-08-15.


Ghent University
Stanford University
The James Hutton Institute
University of Dundee
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point