MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Microbes After Hours

cheese-thumb-small

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Featured Image

Featured Video

Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

The Latest Clean Energy Cocktail: Bacteria And Fungus

By throwing together a common fungus and a common bacteria, researchers are producing isobutanol — a biofuel that gallon-for-gallon delivers 82 percent of gasoline’s heat energy. The more common ethanol, by contrast, only gets 67 percent of gasoline’s energy, and does more damage to pipelines and engines. And the University of Michigan research team did it using stalks and leaves from corn plants as the raw material.

The fungus in question was Trichoderma reesei, which breaks down the plant materials into sugars. The team used corn plant leftovers in this case, but many other forms of biomass like switchgrass or forestry waste could also serve. The bacteria was Escherichia coli — good old-fashioned E. coli — which then converted those sugars into isobutanol. Another team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently came up with a similar process by studying leaf cutter ants, but their work produced ethanol instead.
 
 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

 

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use