Chemistry Lessons from Bacteria May Improve Biofuel Production

Chemistry Lessons from Bacteria May Improve Biofuel Production

Chris Barncard
June 08, 2016

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Enzymes are one of the most expensive parts of making biofuels. GLBRC researchers say if they can identify enzymes that work better, it could lead to cheaper energy. COURTESY OF DON PARSONS/UW-MADISON 

 

 

If you’re made of carbon, precious few things are as important to life as death.

A dead tree may represent a literal windfall of the building blocks necessary for making new plants and animals and the energy to sustain them.

“The recycling of plant carbon is fundamental to the function of our ecosystems,” says Cameron Currie, professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “We get food, water, air, energy — almost everything — through those ecosystem services. It’s how our planet operates.”