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Trash today, ethanol tomorrow
Date:3/10/2008

University of Maryland research that started with bacteria from the Chesapeake Bay has led to a process that may be able to convert large volumes of all kinds of plant products, from leftover brewers mash to paper trash, into ethanol and other biofuel alternatives to gasoline.

That process, developed by University of Maryland professors Steve Hutcheson and Ron Weiner, is the foundation of their incubator company Zymetis, which was on view today in College Park for Maryland Governor Martin OMalley and state and university officials.

"The new Zymetis technology is a win for the State of Maryland, for the University and for the environment, said University of Maryland President C.D. Mote, Jr. "It makes affordable ethanol production a reality and makes it from waste materials, which benefits everyone and supports the green-friendly goal of carbon-neutrality.

It also highlights the importance of transformational basic research and of technology incubators at the University. Partnership with the State enables University of Maryland faculty and students to commercialize new discoveries quickly.

Today, Marylanders are leading the nation in scientific discovery and technology innovation, said Governor Martin OMalley. We must continue to invest in Marylanders like Steve Hutcheson and in their revolutionary ideas to protect our environment, create jobs, and improve lives.

75 Billion Gallons a Year

The Zymetis process can make ethanol and other biofuels from many different types of plants and plant waste called cellulosic sources. Cellulosic biofuels can be made from non- grain plant sources such as waste paper, brewing byproducts, leftover agriculture products, including straw, corncobs and husks, and energy crops such as switchgrass.

When fully operational, the Zymetis process could potentially lead to the production of 75 billion gallons a year of carb
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Contact: Lee Tune
ltune@umd.edu
301-405-4679
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert

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