Friday, 12 March 2010

Run your car on Aspergillus?

Recent online articles have highlighted the efforts underway to find alternate sources of energy, particularly for the running of engines.
In the paper mentioned (Mahmood & Hussain 2009) plant material (waste tea) is treated with a nanocatalyst at high temperatures followed by 'transesterification' yielding 40% biodeisel!

The next step featured is more relevant to this blog. Aspergillus niger is used to ferment the tea leaves in a process which was much slower than all that heating and 'transesterification' (3-5 days) BUT yielded far more biodiesel at nearly 60% of the original biomass used.

The authors conclude A. niger could be a viable producer of biodeisel and the many millions of tonnes of thrown away tea could be a very useful resource for generating that biodeisel.

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