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Posted Wed Mar 12 2008: from Chemical & Engineering News:
Maryland Bug Boosts Biofuels
"Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley was at the University of Maryland, College Park, on March 10 to present a $50,000 state grant to Zymetis, a company spun off from research conducted at the university. The company will use the grant to accelerate the commercialization of a novel process to make ethanol from cellulosic biomass. At the heart of the new process is a mixture of enzymes derived from the bacterium Saccharophagus degradans, which was discovered by chance and isolated from Chesapeake Bay salt marsh grasses...Today, most ethanol is made by fermenting sugars from agricultural products such as corn and sugarcane. But the large-scale use of food crops for fuel production is controversial because it will allegedly raise food prices. Thus, companies have been seeking ways to make fuels out of cellulosic waste products such as corn stover, woody residues, and switch grass with a variety of chemical and biochemical processes....Zymetis enzymes are an advance in the field because they break down cellulose faster and "more simply" than other methods."
[Read more stories about: bioremediation]

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