A team led by a Montana State University professor has found a fungus (see photo) that produces a new type of diesel fuel, which they say holds great promise. Calling the fungus' output "myco-diesel," Gary Strobel and his collaborators describe their initial observations in the November issue of Microbiology.Read more:
Another promising aspect is that the fungus can grow in cellulose.
"That's the most common organic molecule on earth," Scott Strobel said. "It's all around us, everywhere."
Scientists in a variety of disciplines should be able to work together to optimize production and find a way to turn what is essentially a vapor into a burnable, liquid fuel, he added.
The discovery may offer an alternative to fossil fuels, said Strobel, MSU professor of plant sciences and plant pathology. The find is even bigger, he said, than his 1993 discovery of fungus that contained the anticancer drug taxol.
“This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances,” said researcher Gary Strobel from Montana State University. “The fungus can even make these diesel compounds from cellulose, which would make it a better source of biofuel than anything we use at the moment”
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