Better Way to Break Down Biomass for Biofuels? Fungi Holds Promise

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In California, chemical engineering researchers have discovered that unusual fungi called Anaeromyces robustus can transform lignocellulose from plants into sugars, which could be quite helpful for the fuel and chemical industries. Cellulosic biofuel plants usually produce ethanol from waste products and by using this fungi to break down the biomass, it could replace the usual way of using a variety of free-floating enzyme mixtures. The fungi causes more controlled and planned reactions like an assembly line to break down cellulosic material. Researchers hope this will help to engineer more efficient ways to break down biomass for biofuels and even to create synthetic chemicals. They credit this recent development thanks to genomic advances in recent years.