We’ve heard all kinds of biofuel suggestions, but this one is the most bizarre.
Stepping into unexplored territory in efforts to use corn stalks, grass and other non-food plants to make biofuels, scientists have discovered a potential treasure-trove of potential biofuel enzymes in the fungi thriving in the feces and intestinal tracts of horses. These enzymes are the key to economical production of biofuels from non-food plant material.
Cellulose is the raw material for making biofuels from non-food plant materials. Cellulose, however, is sealed away inside the cell walls of plants. To produce biofuels from these materials, the tough outer coating that protects it must be removed through an expensive pretreatment process, using enzymes to break cellulose down into sugars. It’s a process much like production of beer or wine.
Researcher Michelle A. O’Malley says "Nature has made it very difficult and expensive to access the cellulose in plants. Additionally, we need to find the best enzyme mixture to convert that cellulose into sugar. We have discovered a fungus from the digestive tract of a horse that addresses both issues–it thrives on lignin-rich plants and converts these materials into sugars for the animal. It is a potential treasure trove of enzymes for solving this problem and reducing the cost of biofuels."
This reminds us of the plethora of horses that were abandoned after post-menopausal women stopped taking the hormone HRT, which cam from pregnant mares. If the horse face biofuel gets going in a big way, we’ll need lots of horses. Will we see more horse meat being sold as beef in grocery stores and restaurants?
Whether it’s beef or horse meat, the secret to successful dieting is not to go HUNGRY, and Anne Strieber’s famous diet book tells you JUST HOW TO DO THAT. Anne lost 100 pounds on this diet and YOU CAN TOO.
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