US university receives grant for toxic waste to biofuel research
The project has received $9.3 million from the US Department of Energy as to develop more forms of biofuel that are not dependent on feedstock that competes with food production. The project intends to develop a fuel that can fully replace current fossil fuels, without any adaptation to the vehicles that use them.
Lignin, the compound the bacteria feed on, is currently only used as “fuel for on-site boiler operations” according to the university. This research will hopefully expand its uses.
Different labs participating in the project will focus on specific parts of the development process. This includes techniques for processing lignin into a compound more readily digested by the bacteria, developing different strains of the bacteria, sequencing their DNA, modelling how future strains will behave and refining the compounds the bacteria produce into more effective fuel.