Biofuel from Biomass Got One Step Closer to Reality Thanks to UGA Discovery to Manipulate 'Hot' Microbes
"The single most important barrier to the use of lignocellulosic biomass such as switchgrass, populous, sorghum and miscanthus for production of biofuels is the resistant nature of the biomass itself. The problem lies in the conversion or degradation of complex biomass to make products of interest.
New research from scientists at the University of Georgia who are members of Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) provides a genetic method for manipulating a group of organisms, called Caldicellulosiruptor, that have the ability to use biomass directly at temperatures over 160 Fahrenheit. The ability to modify the microbes to make the needed fuel products is a required first step for modern industrial fermentations. This allows researchers to combine the natural ability to consume renewable plant materials with an altered improved ability to make what is needed."