Research Could Lead to Cheaper Ethanol Production

Cindy Zimmerman

Research being done at Washington University in St. Louis could result in more efficient ethanol production.

The research by adjunct professor of biology in Arts & Sciences Erik E. Nielsen, Ph.D. was published in a recent edition of The Journal of Cell Biology, according to a news release.

Nielsen’s research is the first to identity some of the membrane trafficking steps in the deposition of cell wall components — a lightly researched area. His study is important because cotton, wood and other plant fibers that are vital to everyday life rely on the plant cell wall, which gives wood the strength needed for construction and furniture, among other uses, and cotton fibers the elasticity for use in cloth. The research could lead to crops with stalks that can be used to produce biofuels more efficiently and with less waste.

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Ethanol, News