Magnets can boost production of ethanol for fuel

Sep 10, 2007

In a finding that could reduce the cost of ethanol fuel, researchers in Brazil report success in using low frequency magnetic waves to significantly boost the amount of ethanol produced through the fermentation of sugar. Their study is scheduled for the Oct. 5 issue of ACS’ Biotechnology Progress.

While bioethanol (ethanol produced from corn and other plants) is a promising alternative to fossil fuels, it currently is expensive and inefficient to make. An intensive research effort now is underway to improve production methods for this biofuel, which is expected to be the cornerstone of the renewable fuel industry.

In a new study, Victor Perez and colleagues showed that yeast-based fermentation of sugar cane — the main source of bioethanol in Brazil — in the presence of extremely low frequency magnetic waves boosted ethanol production by 17 percent.

The scientists also showed that ethanol production was faster, taking two hours less than standard fermentation methods.

“The results presented in this report suggest that an extremely low frequency magnetic field induces alterations in ethanol production by S. cervisiae [yeast] and that the magnetic field treatment can be easily implemented at an industrial scale,” the article states.

Source: American Chemical Society

Explore further: Photosensitive version of amiloride allows regulating the function of sodium-specific ion channels with light

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Team creates potential food source from non-food plants

Apr 16, 2013

A team of Virginia Tech researchers has succeeded in transforming cellulose into starch, a process that has the potential to provide a previously untapped nutrient source from plants not traditionally thought ...

Biofuel research focuses on manure

Aug 07, 2012

The race to create a better, less controversial biofuel has spawned plenty of research into a variety of potential new sources - including switchgrass, corn stalks and algae.

Recommended for you

Chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution

22 hours ago

The yield so far is small, but chemists at the University of Oregon have developed a low-energy, solution-based mineral substitution process to make a precursor to transparent thin films that could find use ...

Essential oils may provide good source of food preservation

Jul 21, 2014

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that essential oils may be able to be used as food preservatives in packaging to help extend the shelf-life of foo ...

User comments : 0