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New techniques create butanol
Date:1/15/2008

e material, and through our manipulations, convert it into something valuable. For instance, I can alter the pH in this culture . By keeping it neutral, I can get methane gas, but when I lower the pH, I can get butyrate. If I have a pure culture, on the other hand, I have to worry about other organisms slipping in and altering or contaminating the environment.

Lignocellulosic biomass is plentiful, renewable, and a good way to deal with wastes. By using it, we open the door for better economic opportunities for crop producers and rural communities. And because this kind of biomass is carbon-neutral, we dont worry about carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere

Using microbial fuel cells and his mixed media cultures, Angenent in recent years has produced electricity or hydrogen in the process of treating wastewater.

He is the principal investigator of a USDA grant for $425,000 on this research, with his co-P.I.s from USDA.

There is a butanol bandwagon that is growing. In 2006, chemical maker DuPont and the British oil company BP announced collaboration with British Sugar to introduce butanol made from sugar beets as a gasoline-blending additive in the United Kingdom.


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Contact: Lars Angenent
angenent@wustl.edu
314-935-5663
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert

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