Cellulose Enzyme

Two Danish biotech firms claims that they found (or created) new enzymes that can break cellulose or hemi-cellulose more efficiently, resulting in reduced price of cellulosic ethanol to less than that of gasoline. I wonder what kind of enzyme they use and why the traditional ones are so costly.

I did some research on how enzymes break down cellulose and all I found is that this is the question scientists trying to figure out. One of the scientist from Iowa State University got $306,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a basic understanding of how they work. After all, he said: “Nature has tried over and over to find ways to break down cellulose.” If the breaking down process is awfully sophisticated, those Danish people must use trail-and-error methods to find the efficient enzyme. I also wonder if we could do something to the cellulose itself to make it easier to breakdown.

Article used: http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/smart-takes/danish-biotech-firms-discover-enzymes-that-could-make-biofuel-cheaper-than-gasoline/4331/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080130161742.htm

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: