The mystery of Red Lake: How acid-loving bacteria may put fuel in your tank
Dec 6, 2011
Many see biomass as a form of sustainable energy, and this story focuses on a nearby site it might be harvested.
Story and photo from MIZZOU magazine
At first blush, the idea of turning biomass into ethanol and other fuels might sound like a clever alternative to the financial and environmental costs of petroleum. Some of biofuel’s manufacturing steps, such as harvest and fermentation, sound as happy as hops at a brewery. But intervening steps that prepare biomass for fermentation create extreme acid conditions, and every step increases the final product’s cost. Researcher Gary Stacey, professor of plant sciences at MU, and Melanie Mormile, professor of biological sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology, are doing some extreme science in hopes of keeping costs down. More…