University of Georgia | Scientists develop ‘super’ yeast to turn pine trees into ethanol for biofuels

November 27, 2011

University of Georgia | Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a “super strain” of yeast that can efficiently ferment ethanol from pretreated pine — one of the most common species of tree in Georgia and the U.S. Their research could help biofuels replace gasoline as a transportation fuel.

International Business Times: “Scientists develop ‘super’ yeast to turn pine trees into ethanol for biofuels” | [...] Scientists in Georgia revealed Thursday a certain type of yeast that can efficiently produce ethanol from pine trees. University of Georgia researchers genetically engineered a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is yeast typically used for baking and brewing beer, that can extract and ferment the cellulose from pretreated pines.

The finding, published this month in the online journal Biotechnology for Biofuels, showed strains of the super yeast, called AJP50, could produce a little more than 30 grams of ethanol per liter after 120 hours of fermentation. That is roughly 90 percent of the yeast’s theoretical yield, according to the researchers. Gary M. Hawkins and Joy B. Doran-Peterson, the two researchers involved, said the fermentation of ethanol from pine wood could replace gasoline in the future. That potential lies in how sustainable pine trees are. [...]

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