New bacterial process could yield 75 billion gallons of ethanol annually
At the University of Maryland, professors Steve Hutcheson and Ron Weiner found a microbe in the nearby Chesapeake Bay that could go a long way toward making ethanol a truly viable alternative to petroleum. A marsh grass bacteria called S. degradans has an enzyme that is being used in a process developed by the pair of professors that has the potential to produce up to 75 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. They have managed to synthesize the enzyme under the commercial name Ethazyme. Why is it so potentially powerful? Ethazyme can break down the cellulose in all kinds of biomass into sugars for fermentation.
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