Scientists devise new inexpensive method for creating biofuel from plants

According to the scientists at Ohio State University, the process of converting sugar to alcohol should be efficient enough to produce superior quality bio-fuels equivalent to those produced by fossils. While the process of production is well established, the expenses incurred during the production of biofuel remains quite high.

As the entire world ushers into a new decade of the 21st century, the need for alternative fuels is being felt much more severely than ever. The mammoth monster of global warming is currently one of the deadliest enemies of mankind. The world is indeed witnessing a series of devastating tragedies that have led to the loss of precious lives of our near and dear ones while costing our economies millions of dollars financially.

While our politicians ignorantly deny the problem of climate change, we the general populace are constantly on the brink of facing the brunt of mayhem due to reckless human activities and unmoderated exploitation of natural resources. Wastage and pollution have amassed our surroundings so much so, that there’s an urgent need to tackle and convert them into useful forms of energy. Of course, there are scientific attempts of creating sustainable forms of energy but in the due course, we are yet to get a time-tested alternative to fossil fuels.

In this regard, various types of Biofuels are essentially used to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions while providing cleaner forms of energy but their production often comes with a lot of restrictions. Now, these hurdles can easily be overcome by scientists who have been researching varied production methods used for the production of these biofuels through chemical reactions.

What are the new methods for producing biofuels?

According to the scientists at Ohio State University, the process of converting sugar to alcohol should be efficient enough to produce superior quality bio-fuels equivalent to those produced by fossil. While the process of production is well established, the expenses incurred during the production remains quite high. It is now that the researchers are claiming that – new methods developed by them could lead to a significant reduction in the costs of production.

This new technique of creating bio-fuels is further followed by a comparatively less expensive and simpler method for creating helper molecules while converting carbon in cells into energy. These molecules are called co-factors which are called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and its derivative (NADPH). These co-factors increasingly help in converting sugar molecules into butanol and ethanol – which indeed constitute different forms of biofuels.

These cofactors are seemingly quite expensive and scientists have been focusing to cut down the production cost. For this, a sort of reduced cofactors was produced by using cheap metals of nickel and copper. This further helped in the production of oxidised forms of NADH and NADPH as these cofactors. This test essentially led to the production of biofuels from biomass plant cells.

Other Usage of Co-factors

Other than that, these cofactors are also useful in fighting against cancer as they considerably slow down the metabolism of cancer cells in the body. With this, the plant uses NADPH for the conversion of carbon dioxide into sugars which indeed turns into oxygen during photosynthesis.

In the backdrop of such scientific processes, researchers are also emphasizing to make NADPH inexpensive to create the process of artificial photosynthesis.

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