CHICAGO, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A team of researchers of Washington University medical and engineering schools in St. Louis is engineering bacteria to manufacture renewable biofuel -- energy sources made from plants or microbes.
With 3.9 million U.S. dollars grant from U.S. Department of Energy, the researchers are seeking to use microbes from a toxic waste product of papermaking called lignin to make biofuels.
In addition to using a bacterial species and raw materials not involved in food production, another goal of the project is to produce biofuels that could totally replace petroleum-based fuels.
Millions of tons of lignin are generated yearly from papermaking and lignocellulose-based biofuel industries. Currently, the value of lignin is restricted to its application as a fuel for on-site boiler operations. This project seeks to expand its uses.