Ohio State University scientists discover cheaper way to produce biofuels

January 11, 2021 |

In Ohio, scientists at Ohio State University have figured out a cheaper, more efficient way to conduct a chemical reaction at the heart of many biological processes, which may lead to better ways to create biofuels from plants.

At the heart of their discovery: A less expensive and simpler method to create the “helper molecules” that allow carbon in cells to be turned into energy. Those helper molecules (which chemists call cofactors) are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and its derivative (NADPH). These cofactors in their reduced forms have long been known to be a key part of turning sugar from plants into butanol or ethanol for fuels. Both cofactors also play an important role in slowing the metabolism of cancer cells and have been a target of treatment for some cancers.

But NADH and NADPH are expensive, so researchers found a way to cut the cost in half.

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Category: Research

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