News International Sugar Journal

Bioengineered yeast consumes toxic acetic acid to increase cellulosic ethanol yield by 10% [Registered]

Researchers from the Universities of Illinois and California (Berkeley) have engineered yeast to consume acetic acid, a previously unwanted byproduct of the process of converting lignocellulosic feedstocks into biofuels. The innovation increases ethanol yield from lignocellulosic sources by about 10%. Their findings are reported Nature Communications. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is good at fermenting simple sugars (such as those found in corn kernels and sugarcane) to produce ethanol. But coaxing the yeast to feast on crop residues is not so easy. Doing it on an industrial scale requires a number of costly steps, one of which involves breaking down hemicellulose,…

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