Navigation Links
Dartmouth researchers advance cellulosic ethanol production
Date:9/8/2008

Hanover, NH A team of researchers from Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering and Mascoma Corporation in Lebanon, N.H., have made a discovery that is important for producing large quantities of cellulosic ethanol, a leading candidate for a sustainable and secure alternative to petroleum-derived transportation fuel. For the first time, the group has genetically engineered a thermophilic bacterium, meaning it's able to grow at high temperatures, and this new microorganism makes ethanol as the only product of its fermentation.

The study was published online during the week of Sept. 8, 2008 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

"Our discovery is one potential avenue for research to facilitate turning inedible cellulosic biomass, including wood, grass, and various waste materials, into ethanol," says Lee Lynd, the Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. "In the near term, the thermophilic bacterium we have developed is advantageous, because costly cellulase enzymes typically used for ethanol production can be augmented with the less expensive, genetically engineered new organism."

Lynd explains that this discovery is only the first step, a proof of concept, for future development of ethanol-producing microbes that can make ethanol from cellulosic biomass without adding enzymes. Lynd is the corresponding author on the study and the chief scientific officer and co-founder of Mascoma Corporation, a company working to develop processes to make cellulosic ethanol.

All of the ethanol currently used in this country as an additive to gasoline comes from corn. However, it is widely recognized that cellulosic biomass has significant advantages over corn as a raw material for ethanol production, provided that a cost-effective technology for converting cellulosic materials can be developed.

There are several features that make cellulosic ethanol attractive. The raw material, cellulosic biomass, is available on a large scale, does not include food crops, and is cost-competitive with petroleum on both an energy and a mass basis. The technology to convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol is steadily improving, and it also has the potential to be cost-competitive with gasoline production. Environmental benefits include a sustainable carbon cycle with near-zero net greenhouse gas emissions, because the carbon dioxide captured growing the biomass roughly equals what is emitted while running an engine. In addition, ethanol has excellent performance and compatibility with existing internal combustion engines as well as fuel cell-powered vehicles of the future.

Innovative technology for ethanol production from cellulosic raw materials has been a central focus of Lynd's, who won the inaugural Lemelson-MIT Sustainability Award in 2007, a top honor for inventors.

"I'm not sure if it was a good or a bad sign that I knew alternative energy would be so important today when I started this work 30 years ago," says Lynd. "At that time, tools of molecular biology were in a nascent state of development. Now we can make much faster progress, and I anticipate more exciting advances soon."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue Knapp
sue.knapp@dartmouth.edu
603-646-3661
Dartmouth College
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Researchers decode viral process that prepares cells for HIV infection
2. Understanding the science of solar-based energy: more researchers are better than one
3. Penn researchers demonstrate a flexible, 1-step assembly of nanoscale structures
4. Argonne researchers win 2 R&D 100 Awards
5. Silicon photonic crystals key to optical cloaking, researchers say
6. LLNL researchers peer into water in carbon nanotubes
7. HistoRx Announces Expanded Access of AQUA(R) Technology to 900+ Researchers at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
8. First Annual Autism Conference at Packard Childrens and Stanford Brings Parents and Researchers Together
9. Researchers bring new meaning to the term computer bug
10. By adding graphene, researchers create superior polymer
11. Researchers Document Rapid, Dramatic Reverse Evolution in the Threespine Stickleback Fish
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... York Academy of Sciences today announced the three Winners and six Finalists of ... Awards are given annually by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to ... of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a data ... titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas Cacciabeve, ... and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic confidence.* ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced ... to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B ... to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/18/2017)...  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing ... M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing ... Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized leader ... today announced that it has been awarded a ... Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack Detection ... "Innovation has been a driving force within Crossmatch ... allow us to innovate and develop new technologies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):