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: Team pioneers strategy for creating new materials

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

Team pioneers strategy for creating new materials

Aug 29, 2014

Making something new is never easy. Scientists constantly theorize about new materials, but when the material is manufactured it doesn't always work as expected. To create a new strategy for designing materials, ...

Plug n' Play protein crystals

Aug 29, 2014

Almost a hundred years ago in 1929 Linus Pauling presented the famous Pauling's Rules to describe the principles governing the structure of complex ionic crystals. These rules essentially describe how the ...

Protein glue shows potential for use with biomaterials

Aug 28, 2014

Researchers at the University of Milan in Italy have shown that a synthetic protein called AGMA1 has the potential to promote the adhesion of brain cells in a laboratory setting. This could prove helpful ...

User comments : 0