Creating biofuels from plant material requires ionic liquids (ILs) to break down plant cells. We also need microbes such as yeast to convert the resulting plant material into biofuel. However, ILs often keep microbes from growing. Scientists have now learned how one strain of yeast strengthens its membranes and holds up better to ILs.
Scientists have discovered how diatoms – a type of algae that produces 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen – absorb solar energy for photosynthesis. The Rutgers University-led discovery, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help lead to more efficient and affordable algae-based biofuels and combat climate change from fossil fuel burning.