Jun 25, 2007
U.S. scientists have developed a technology designed to convert waste
glycerin from biodiesel plants into ethanol, another popular biofuel.
Rice University Assistant Professor Ramon Gonzalez and colleagues
identified the metabolic processes and conditions that allow a strain of
E. coli to convert glycerin into ethanol.
"It's also very efficient," said Gonzalez. "We estimate the operational
costs to be about 40 percent less that those of producing ethanol from
U.S. biodiesel production is at an all-time high, but the industry is
also facing a significant problem in how to deal with waste glycerin.
One pound of glycerin is produced for every 10 pounds of biodiesel,
The research by Gonzalez, research associate Syed Shams Yazdani and
graduate students Yandi Dharmadi and Abhishek Murarka is reported in the
journal Current Opinion in Biotechnology. (c) UPI
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