A New Solution for Biofuels: Cow Guts
It may seem gross, and that’s primarily because it is.
Cows are king of converting plant material into energy so it’s no wonder that researchers have begun to look to bovine for answers. Everyday the average cow digests 150 pounds of plant material- and while you may think it’s because they have four stomachs, its actually much more scientific than that. Researchers have discovered an enzyme in the digestive system of cows which allows for the excessive plant intake.
This enzyme presents a great new solution to break down biomass in order to create bio fuel. The goal of the researchers is to find the enzyme that can “efficiently break down the toughest fibers in switch grass.”
Switch grass is tough, but it can be used to make ethanol and other biofuels. Also because it is so rugged it can grow in places that other crops can’t. However this pesky plant may be the solution, given the right enzyme.
Gross as using cow gut technology is, it very well could be the answer to producing biofuels efficiently and with little consequence.
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