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Crop Biotech Update

Engineers Discover Bacterium for Greener and Cheaper Biofuel Production

April 18, 2018

A research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has discovered how to isolate and harness a naturally occurring bacterium from mushroom crop residue that could be a new key for biofuel production. The bacterium, Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum TG57, was first discovered and cultured in 2015 by the research team. When added to cellulose, the bacterium can directly convert cellulose into biobutanol, which can be a replacement for petrol.

Traditional biofuels are usually produced from food crops, but the approach is costly and competes with food production for environmental resources. Unprocessed cellulosic material such as plant leaves, in contrast, are in great abundance, environmentally friendly, and economically sustainable. Biofuels produced from such material is expected to meet growing energy demands without increasing greenhouse gas emissions that could result from fossil fuel burning. This novel method by the NUS team could potentially lead to more cost effective and sustainable biofuel production.

For more information, read the NUS News.