Japanese researchers make major breakthrough on chitin as ethanol feedstock

April 7, 2016 |

In Japan, researchers at Kobe University have found a potential biofuel feedstock in a very unlikely place—crab shells—and they believe it can be done for the same price as producing ethanol from corn. Chitin, found in exoskeletons and considered to be the second most widely available natural polymer in the world after plant cellulose, can be broken down by the same yeasts that break down xylose. The researchers say the yeast could be genetically modified to reach 90% efficiency, above the 70% theoretically limit on conversion efficiency, which could bring production costs down to 44 cents per liter.

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Category: Research

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