News International Sugar Journal

Cellulosic biofuels – Enzyme cocktail could eliminate a step to remove toxic chemicals following pretreatment [Registered]

Conversion of cellulosic feedstock to fuel requires several steps: pretreatment (chemical usually) to break up the biomass – often dilute (sulfuric) acid, detoxification to remove the toxic chemicals, and microbial fermentation to convert the soluble sugars to fuels. Virginia Tech researchers have discovered an enzyme mixture that works in the presence of the toxic infused liquid biomass (hydrolysate), meaning that the detoxification step is unnecessary, reducing the cost of producing biofuels as well as increasing biofuel yields by avoiding the production of by-products and synthesis of cell mass. The research is published in the journal Chemistry & Biology. “Enzymes self-assemble…

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