Bug turns newspaper into fuel

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: August 25, 2011   View Article

The Internet is delivering a slow death to newspapers, but many of us still have piles of the stuff around the house that a microbe called TU-103 will convert to butanol, a biofuel that is nearly as energy dense as unleaded gasoline.

“This is a bacterium that we isolated straight out of nature,” David Mullin, a cell and molecular biologist at Tulane University in New Orleans, told me today.

In fact, it was isolated from a truckload of feces he and colleagues collected from grass-eating animals at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, figuring their intestinal tracts likely harbored a naturally occurring microbe that had the qualities they sought.

Related Posts

Silver lining? Greenhouse gas could be vast, untapped source of energy

Experts call Obama climate plan an ‘important first step’

Photosynthesis interrupted: Plant parts used to generate electricity

Bank of 1,440 lithium-ion batteries to make power grid smarter

To fight climate change, don’t mention it, study suggests

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach