Add another word to your vocabulary - "microdiesel" - as in biodiesel fuel produced by using micro-organisms engineered for fuel production. Like enzymatic and bacterial catalysts mentioned elsewhere on this blog, this new process expands the range of feedstock that can be employed in biofuel production.
Thanks to Biopact for identifying the online reports on this technology. Use the links here for more details.
New Fuels from Bacteria
from Science Daily
A breakthrough in the production of biofuels has been developed by scientists in Germany. Research published in the September 2006 issue of Microbiology, a Society for General Microbiology journal, describes how specially engineered bacteria could be used to make 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.
Also, it 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% renewable resources.
"Due to the much lower price of the raw materials used in this new process, as well as their great abundance, the Microdiesel process can result in a more widespread production of biofuel at a competitive price in the future", says Professor Steinbüchel.
technorati microdiesel, biodiesel, ethanol, research, biofuels, feedstock