News International Sugar Journal

Heat-tolerant enzyme suitable for cellulosic biofuels production sourced from hot springs [Registered]

Industrial scale biofuels production requires microbes to operate at high temperature. Bioprospectors from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a microbe in a Nevada hot spring that breaks down cellulose at temperatures near the boiling point of water. In fact, the microbe’s cellulose-digesting enzyme (cellulose), is most active at a record 109 degrees Celsius (228 degrees Fahrenheit), significantly above the 100oC (212oF) boiling point of water. This so-called hyperthermophilic microbe, discovered in a 95oC (203oF) geothermal pool, is only the second member of the ancient group Archaea known to grow by…

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