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Promising Breakthrough In Biofuel Technology

Discussion in 'Science' started by Zam-Zam, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Zam-Zam

    Zam-Zam Governor

    Sep 19, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I found this quite interesting:

    A group of Japanese researchers has developed a new method to synthesize oil within microalgae cells, which could lead to more efficient biofuel development.

    The research, led by Professor Hasunuma Tomohisa and academic researcher Kato Yuichi from the Kobe University Graduate School of Science, Technology and Innovation, found that Chlaamydomonas sp. JSC4, a new species of green algae harvested from brackish water, combines a high growth rate with high levels of lipids.

    The researchers developed a new analysis method called dynamic metabolic profiling, which they used to analyze JSC4 and observe how the algae produces oil within its cells.

    The researchers incubated JSC4 with carbon dioxide as the sole carbon source, and four days after the start of incubation, over 55 percent of cell weight consisted of a carbohydrate—mainly starch.......

    .....Finding efficient biofuels has become particularly important as the amount of biomass on Earth is approximately 10 times the amount of energy we currently consume. About half of this biomass grows in aquatic environments and ocean-based biomass, including microalgae, can produce oil without using up arable land and drinking water.

    Microalgae grows with light, water, carbon dioxide and a small amount of minerals and their cells divide quickly, which means they can be harvested faster than land-based biomasses. Algae can also be harvested year-round, which potentially offers a more stable energy supply.

    Several species of algae are able to produce large amounts of oil, but the recent study represents the first time researchers have captured the metabolic changes occurring on a molecular level when lipids are produced in algae cells.


    Of course, discovering it is one thing, harvesting efficiently is another. A step in the right direction nonetheless.


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