University of Central Florida professor Henry Daniell has developed a groundbreaking way to produce ethanol from waste products such as orange peels and newspapers. His approach is greener and less expensive than the current methods available to run vehicles on cleaner fuel — and his goal is to relegate gasoline to a secondary fuel.
More research is needed before Daniell’s findings, published this month in the highly regarded Plant Biotechnology Journal, can move from his laboratory to the market. But other scientists conducting research in biofuels describes the early results as promising.
Daniell’s team cloned genes from wood-rotting fungi or bacteria and produced enzymes in tobacco plants. Producing these enzymes in tobacco instead of manufacturing synthetic versions could reduce the cost of production by a thousand times, which means the cost of making ethanol should be significantly reduced, Daniell said.