Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
New fuels from bacteria


March 27, 2008
By Fruit & Vegetable

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Scientists in Germany have made a
breakthrough in the production of biofuels by using specially
engineered bacteria to make the fuel completely from food crops.

Scientists in Germany have made a breakthrough in the production of biofuels by using specially engineered bacteria to make the fuel completely from food crops. Microdiesel, as the scientists have named it, is different from other production methods because it not only uses the same plant oils, but can also use readily available bulk plant materials or even recycled waste paper if engineering of the production strain is more advanced. It also does not rely on the addition of toxic methanol from fossil resources, like many other biodiesels. The bacteria developed for use in the Microdiesel process make their own ethanol instead. This could help to keep the costs of production down and means that the fuel is made from 100 per cent renewable resources. It’s hoped the Microdiesel process will result in a more widespread production of biofuel at a competitive price in the future due to the lower price attached to the raw materials required in the new process and the materials’ abundance.

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