Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sugar-hungry yeast to boost biofuel production

Date:
March 29, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Engineering yeast to transform sugars more efficiently into alcohols could be an economically and environmentally sound way to replace fossil fuels, say scientists.

Engineering yeast to transform sugars more efficiently into alcohols could be an economically and environmentally sound way to replace fossil fuels, say scientists presenting at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh.

Dr Christian Weber and Professor Eckhard Boles from Frankfurt University, Germany, have worked out how to modify yeast cells so that they successfully convert a wider range of sugars from plant waste such as wheat and rice straw into alcohol that can be used as biofuel.

Bioalcohols produced by microbial fermentations are an example of second generation biofuels that use raw materials not used in food production. Plant waste is available in large amounts and contains a mixture of complex sugars including hexoses and pentoses that can be fermented to alcohol. "As these feedstocks represent the biggest portion of processing costs, we need rapid and efficient conversion of all sugars present. At the moment there is a lack of microbes that will efficiently convert both hexoses and pentoses into ethanol," explained Dr Weber.

Bakers' yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is already used in the beverage industry to efficiently convert hexose sugars, such as glucose, into ethanol. By transferring genes from bacteria that naturally break down pentose, Dr Weber's team have engineered S. cerevisiae to successfully ferment pentose and hexose sugars. "As pentoses represent a substantial part of the feedstock, the engineered yeast gives a much higher yield of ethanol for the same amount of feedstock," he said.

To enhance their biofuel potential even more, the yeast is being further modified to produce another bioalcohol -- butanol instead of ethanol. "Compared to ethanol, butanol shows superior properties as a potential biofuel." It has a lower vapour pressure, ignites at a higher temperature and is less corrosive. Butanol could replace fossil fuels up to 100% without modifying existing engines," said Professor Boles.

BUTALCO is a company started by Professor Boles together with chemist Dr Gunter Festel that is developing a special technology to modify the yeast for pentose utilization and butanol production. The company is currently finalising the technology to use both pentoses and hexoses for bioethanol manufacture. Eventually a whole process chain will be developed covering all the steps of bioalcohol production from engineering through to downstream processing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Sugar-hungry yeast to boost biofuel production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329075915.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, March 29). Sugar-hungry yeast to boost biofuel production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329075915.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Sugar-hungry yeast to boost biofuel production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329075915.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins