When it comes to alternative fuels, ethanol is the big leader. But with concern over how rising demand for this corn-based product is driving up food costs, much research is now being done to find other so-called “biomass” sources that can be turned into fuel. This according to Science News, which reports that an important key to this research is finding the right kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms that can ferment the sugar in tougher forms of biomass like wood residue from sawmills and paper mills, or dedicated energy crops like switchgrass. Finding these bacteria, which help things like mollusks and termites break down the cellulose in wood, would thus go far toward providing a sweet supply of sugary fuels.
July 8, 2008 by Craig Rucker,
Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.