This story is appropriate this week in honor of the Florida Gators basketball championship – especially since my husband and I are both UF alumni.
Research at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is on the cutting edge of converting biomass to ethanol. IFAS sent out this release last May, prior to the existence of Domestic Fuel, but I recently found it and sent it along to my good friend and ace reporter Mike Rogers. You may have heard his voice on reports for major national radio networks. Anyway, after a week of trying he managed to track down Dr. Lonnie Ingram, IFAS professor of microbiology, who who has developed a biotechnology “bug” that converts biomass and other farm wastes into fuel. His breakthrough technology is basically a genetically engineered E. coli bacteria. The bioconversion technology is being commercialized with assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). BC International Corp., based in Dedham, Mass., holds exclusive rights to use and license the UF-engineered bacteria.
The picture shows Professor Ingram holding a Petri dish containing the new bacterium, while Greg Luli, vice president of research for BC International Corp.’s laboratory at the Sid Martin Biotechnology Center in Alachua, Fla. watches.
Listen to Mike’s interview with Dr. Ingram here: Ingram Interview