Butanol is the oft-ignored orphan of the biofuel world, but it's getting some attention down south. Scientists in New Orleans think that waste from zoo animals might be just the ticket to making the fuel for automobile use. Researchers form Tulane University aren't looking to turn the animal feces itself into fuel, but are investigating the waste product of plant-eating animals in the zoo to see what bacteria are involved in breaking down cellulose inside the animal. These bacteria, which would be genetically modified to produce more, could then be turned loose on biomass sources intended for landfills, turning waste into fuel. The U.S. DOE is funding part of the research through a grant to the Clean Power and Energy Research Consortium.

For more on the biofuel, including how it can be blened into gasoline much easier than ethanol and requires no engine modifications, check out Butanol 101 here.

[Source: Domestic Fuel via New Orleans City Business]
Photo by Sir Mervs. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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