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American Chemical Society's weekly PressPac -- May 6, 2009
Date:5/10/2009

Here is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) Weekly PressPac from the Office of Public Affairs. It has news from ACS' 34 peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News.

Please credit the individual journal or the American Chemical Society as the source for this information.

PressPac Archive: http://portal.acs.org/portal/PublicWebSite/pressroom/presspacs/CTP_006742

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Advance toward producing biofuels without stressing global food supply
Journal of the American Chemical Society

Scientists in California are reporting use of a first-of-its-kind approach to craft genetically engineered microbes with the much-sought ability to transform switchgrass, corn cobs, and other organic materials into methyl halides the raw material for making gasoline and a host of other commercially important products. The new bioprocess could help pave the way for producing biofuels from agricultural waste, easing concerns about stress on the global food supply from using corn and other food crops. Their study is scheduled for the May 20 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a weekly publication.

Christopher Voigt and colleagues note in the new study that using crop waste to produce methyl halides is one of the most attractive ways of transforming biomass into liquid fuels and chemical raw materials now derived from petroleum. Plants and microbes produce methyl halides naturally, but in amounts too small for commercial use.

Using a database of 89 genes from plants, fungi, and bacteria known to produce methyl halides, the researchers identified genes that were the most likely to produce the highest levels of these substances. The scientists then spliced these genes into Brewer's yeast used to make beer and wine so that the yeast cells churned ou
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Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-6293
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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