Friday, November 7, 2008

Fungus makes biodiesel?! Sign us up!

Ooh, more good news! Kind of hailing from obscurity, but are our fuel woes a thing of the past? A newly discovered fungus makes, as a byproduct of decomposing plant matter, biodiesel! It can even directly convert cellulose directly to biodiesel, which was one of the main challenges facing the next gen of biodiesel adoption - being able to convert plant waste, such as stems (the wasted part of crops) directly into fuel.

The fungus, called Gliocladium roseum and discovered growing inside the ulmo tree (Eucryphia cordifolia) in northern Patagonia, produces a range of long-chain hydrocarbon molecules that are virtually identical to the fuel-grade compounds in existing fossil fuels.

"It's another piece of evidence that there is real potential to adapt such processes to provide energy sources that can help reduce our need for, and dependence on, fossil fuels."

Such a timely developments such as this may dramatically impact where we get our energy and fuels from.

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