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  • Team uses a cellulosic biofuels byproduct to increase ethanol yield

    University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor Yong-Su Jin, left rear, and, clockwise, graduate student Josh Quarterman, EBI fellow Soo Rin Kim and postdoctoral researcher Na Wei engineered yeast to consume acetic acid and xylose simultaneously, improving ethanol yield from lignocellulosic sources (plant stems and other structural parts).

    University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor Yong-Su Jin, left rear, and, clockwise, graduate student Josh Quarterman, EBI fellow Soo Rin Kim and postdoctoral researcher Na Wei engineered yeast to consume acetic acid and xylose simultaneously, improving ethanol yield from lignocellulosic sources (plant stems and other structural parts).

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor Yong-Su Jin, left rear, and, clockwise, graduate student Josh Quarterman, EBI fellow Soo Rin Kim and postdoctoral researcher Na Wei engineered yeast to consume acetic acid and xylose simultaneously, improving ethanol yield from lignocellulosic sources (plant stems and other structural parts).

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      The new advance will streamline the fermentation process and will simplify plant breeding and pretreatment of the cellulose, the researchers say.

      Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute

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      Jamie Cate, of the University of California at Berkeley, had the idea that the researchers might engineer yeast to also consume acetic acid.

      Photo courtesy of Jamie Cate

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  • To reach Yong-Su Jin, call 217-333-7981; email ysjin@illinois.edu. The paper, “Enhanced Biofuel Production Through Coupled Acetic Acid and Xylose Consumption,” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.