30 Aug '11, 4pm

Panda Poop May Be a Treasure Trove of Microbes for Making Biofuel

Panda Poop May Be a Treasure Trove of Microbes for Making Biofuel

“Who would have guessed that ‘panda poop’ might help solve one of the major hurdles to producing biofuels, which is optimizing the breakdown of the raw plant materials used to make the fuels?” said study co-author Ashli Brown, Ph.D. “We hope our research will help expand the use of biofuels in the future and help cut dependency on foreign oil. We also hope it will reinforce the importance of wildlife conservation.” Brown pointed out that bacteria from the giant panda are particularly promising for breaking down the super-tough plant material known as lignocellulose in switch grass, corn stalks and wood chips. That advance could speed the development of so-called cellulosic biofuels made from these tough plant materials in a way that doesn’t rely on precious food crops such as corn, soybeans and sugar now used for making biofuels, she noted. Scientists have long known that ...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011...

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Panda poop may solve biofuel woes

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