Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2011

Bugs might be able to convert biodiesel waste into new fuel

Source: ScienceDaily.com Feb 1st 2011

There is a growing problem with disposing of biodiesel waste right now, according to www.sciencedaily.com. The issue is glycerol which is a major headache for the biodiesel industry as it isn't pure and therefore cannot be recycled into cosmetics or animal feed, while the process of purifying it costs three times as much as the stuff is actually worth.
However, US student Keerthi Venkataramanan, who attends University of Alabama Huntsville's Biotech Phd programme, thinks he might have discovered the answer. He is working with the Clostridium pasteurianum bacterium which eats glycerol and in so doing produces a number of useful byproducts. "The strain is found deep in the soil" he said "It was originally studied for its ability to fix nitrogen from the air."
The bacterium uses glycerol as a carbohydrate source and produces ethanol, butanol and propanediol as byproducts as well as acetic acid and butyric acid. Butanol can be…