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Chemist Charles Lee inspects a petri dish containing xylan, a component of the hemicellulose in plant cell walls. Bacteria that produce xylanase enzymes were streaked onto the dish in a wavy pattern, and the clear areas are where the xylanase is degrading the xylan. Xylanase is one of the battery of enzymes that produce simple sugars from cell walls, which can be utilized instead of sugar cane or corn products in ethanol production.

We are in a new era where sustainable energy is looked at seriously.  With President Barack Obama???s green initiative, the future of Biofuel Science and Technology is promising. See what the Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering (BCE) Unit at the USDA-ARS in Albany, California is doing on a bioconversion project that focuses on producing biofuels from agricultural waste and/or plant matter instead of valuable food resources by going to this link:

ARS News Articles

USDA Scientist Named Finalist for Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for Groundbreaking Research
May 03, 2021
Guayule: Past Meets Future
Mar 29, 2017
Fire Logs Made From Lawn Clippings Offer Earth-Friendly Option
Nov 15, 2012
Helping Corn-Based Plastics Take More Heat
Sep 01, 2010
"Superenzymes" Could Streamline Biofuels Refining
Oct 22, 2008
City Trash Plus Farm Leftovers May Yield Clean Energy
Oct 07, 2008