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New lignin 'lite' switchgrass boosts biofuel yield by more than one-third
Date:2/14/2011

falfa and other plant species.

What the team from the Noble Foundation ended up with, as discovered by a team led by Mielenz, is a switchgrass that is more easily converted to biofuels under milder conditions and with much lower costly additions during fermentation.

"The presence of lignin in plant cell walls interferes with the fermentation to produce biofuels," said Wang, who noted that enzymes are the single largest processing cost component for bioconversion of biomass after the biomass itself. "The transgenic lines require lower temperature preprocessing and only one-quarter to one-third the level of enzymes for equivalent ethanol fermentation compared to the unmodified switchgrass. This significantly lowers the cost of biofuels and biochemicals from this switchgrass."


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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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