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Power Biotech Science

Cheaper Fuel From Self-Destructing Trees 112

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Wood is great for building and heating homes, but it's the bane of biofuels. When converting plants to fuels, engineers must remove a key component of wood, known as lignin, to get to the sugary cellulose that's fermented into alcohols and other energy-rich compounds. That's costly because it normally requires high temperatures and caustic chemicals. Now, researchers in the United States and Canada have modified the lignin in poplar trees to self-destruct under mild processing conditions—a trick that could slash the cost of turning plant biomass into biofuels."
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Cheaper Fuel From Self-Destructing Trees

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  • by h5inz ( 1284916 ) on Friday April 04, 2014 @11:25AM (#46661183)
    Whether science or not science, who cares. The Taco Cowboy's comment is just stupid. What is it exactly what he is worried about? First of all they will self destruct under processing conditions. Will the modified poplars take over the world and then mutate to self destruct without assistance or will these self-destruction genes drift to other subspecies of poplars? The self destruction, if it happened without any processing, would not be a feature that made a tree fit for survival, common sense says - so these genes wouldn't prevail anyway then.

Loose bits sink chips.