Marine invertebrates have helped to convert wood into biofuel

In recent years, scientists around the world are trying to find ways to develop a cheap method of production of low-carbon fuels that could eventually replace petroleum products. And, it is possible that in this case, as often happens, to help people come by nature. In fact, according to the publication Nature Communications, a team of researchers from York University together with his colleagues found in the intestines of marine invertebrates protein, which can process wood into low-carbon biofuels.

According to the scientific work, the source of salvation of the planet can become animals Limnoriidae. Limnoriidae is a family of crustaceans, which includes about 55 species with a body length of from 1 to 10 millimeters. The fact that these crustaceans have adapted to eating wood and its waste, falling from the rivers to the seas and oceans. These animals are a kind of “sea termites,” because it is able to eat and wooden ships, and even those who are covered with special substances that prevent the harmful effects. According to lead study author Simon McQueen-Mason,

“This is the only currently known animals whose digestive system is completely sterile. This greatly facilitates the process of studying the digestive processes in comparison with the same termites.”

In the course of studying marine life, scientists have found that first Limnoriidae “crushed” tree into many small fragments in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and in the lower part of the intestine are proteins emozioni (GH7), through which crustaceans can extract from the wood of sugar for power.

“GH7 — is the same group of enzymes used by fungi during the processing and decomposition of wood.”

Moreover, further research showed that the treatment of wood emotsiyami the result is produced almost in 2 times more low molecular weight sugars than when using “traditional” methods of thermochemical processing of wood. Next, the resulting compounds can already be put on the production of biofuels.