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News Link • Biofuel

Biofuels From Waste —

•, Nathan
 The extremely small animals are well known for their ability to completely destroy seaside piers, primarily as a result of the powerful enzymes that they use.
By utilizing advanced biochemical analysis and X-ray techniques, the researchers — from the University of York, University of Portsmouth, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory — were able to ascertain the exact structure and function of the primary enzyme that the gribble use to break down wood. The researchers think that this discovery — if utilized on the industrial scale — will allow for a more cost-effective means of converting waste into biofuel.

In order to produce liquid biofuel from woody biomass (paper, wood scraps, straw, etc), the polysaccharides (sugar polymers) that these materials are primarily composed of needs to be broken down into the simple sugars. These simple sugars can then be fermented and refined — creating liquid biofuels.

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