Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, September 19, 2016

Abundant, chock full of energy and bound so tightly that the only way to release its energy is through combustion -- lignin has frustrated scientists for years. With the help of an unusual soil bacteria, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories believe they now know how to crack open lignin, a breakthrough that could transform the economics of biofuel production. Lignin is a component of lignocellulosic biomass, the dry plant matter found virtually everywhere. As a biomass source that does not compete with food or feed, lignin is critical to biofuel production.

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Lignin makes up the fortress-like cell walls of plants to enable water transport against gravity while protecting them from microbial attack and environmental stress. These beneficial traits make lignin hard to break down and even harder to convert into something valuable.

By following the metabolic pathway of an unusual soil bacteria that lives off lignin, Sandia research team members led by principal investigator Seema Singh believe they can develop technologies to break down lignin and extract valuable platform chemicals. High-value chemicals like muconic acid and adipic acid can be derived from the platform chemicals.

"Lignin is an untapped resource," said Singh. "But as a basis for high-value chemicals, it is of immense value. Those high-value chemicals can be the basis for polyurethane, nylon and other bioplastics."

Comments

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Take that, "limited resources" people.

#1 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2016-09-18 02:42 PM | Reply

What we need is to find a good plentiful source of dilithium crystals.

#2 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2016-09-18 03:38 PM | Reply

bring on the miles of cannabis hemp fields.

#3 | Posted by ichiro at 2016-09-19 03:01 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

medicine and fuel.
seeds contain all 7(?) essential amino acids (food).

#4 | Posted by ichiro at 2016-09-21 01:40 AM | Reply

and air cleaners.

grows nearly everywhere, requires no pesticides.

#5 | Posted by ichiro at 2016-09-21 01:41 AM | Reply

makes paper (better paper and more per acre), saves trees.

makes clothes. makes sails, rope, and tar.

maybe there is a God.

#6 | Posted by ichiro at 2016-09-21 01:44 AM | Reply

...there sure as ---- is a devil, and it's us.

#7 | Posted by ichiro at 2016-09-21 01:45 AM | Reply

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