As we know, breaking down long-chain cellulose molecules into individual sugar molecules is problematic on an industrial scale. In nature, of course, this happens all the time thanks to little critters like the Limnoria Quadripunctata, or four spotted gribble. The gribble or sea grub, like numerous other tiny life forms, is able to consume biomass like wood and turn it into something that can more easily be transformed into a liquid fuel.
Scientists have been examining these sea grubs and many other creatures to learn about the enzymes they produce for breaking down cellulose. The hope is that the enzymes can be economically synthesized for use in biofuel production. Simon McQueen-Mason of the University of York in the UK recently came up with the idea of using these particular gribbles and is leading a research effort into them that is getting funding from a £27 million bioenergy program. British science minister Lord Paul Drayson has established bioenergy research centers at six British universities.

[Source: Channel 4]

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