MIT Research Team is Working on a New Garbage Biofuel

A major Research Team at MIT has developed a new system that turns waste gases generated from industrial processes and garbage dumps into a liquid biofuel. The MIT Research Team tested and researched the system — which uses engineered microbes to help convert the gases into fuels — in a plant in China.

Just located outside of Shanghai, the plant operated from September 2015. Following the successes of the research, construction is set to begin on an even larger plant, which the team hopes to help prove that the technology can be scaled up to mass production.

The Research Time will also use the bigger plant to help evaluate the costs the potential carbon footprint. This will allow them to see if the scalability will be viable on a larger production scale.

The process seems kinda simple from what I have been reading regarding it. I know for a fact that it is somewhat more complex then what I can get information about. Allow me to try to explain it as easily as I can. During this process, there is bacteria used to convert the gases into an acid, which then is mixed with an engineered yeast to produce a biofuel.

This process which is undoubtfully useful, it will be helping to create yet another potentially viable alternative to our reliance on the fossil fuels of last century, but it means it can help with recycling harmful greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

The research paper, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that the process draws in more carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere than it will create in the process.

This is all providing that the carbon footprint will remain low during the large-scale production cycle. This could be a valuable development in moving us farther away from the use of fossil fuels.

Also, please remember that the MIT Research Team that is working on this, isn’t just the only team of researchers that is working on technologies that could turn our industrial waste into fuels for the future.

As an example, and I found it interesting, the U.S. company called Lanzatech is using a different microbe to help convert gases into either fuel or chemicals useful in different types of industries. Also, the U.S. company Catalysta is working on a method to turn methane into a fuel.

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Categories: Science

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