Fungus that can convert plant waste into diesel ‘discovered’

Fungus that can convert plant waste into diesel ‘discovered’


Washington: Scientists have discovered a fungus which they claim can convert plant waste directly into diesel -- a finding that could revolutionise fuel production.

According to a report in the ‘New Scientist´, the fungus makes diesel as a vapour, much easier than liquid fuel to extract, purify and store -- a method which can generate biofuel without sacrificing food production. Gary Strobel of the Montana State University, Gliocladium roseum, Hydrocarbons

“There’s no other known organism on the planet that does this. The gas mixture itself would be adequate to run an engine," said lead scientist Gary Strobel of the Montana State University in the US.

In fact, the scientists identified the diesel vapours in Gliocladium roseum, an endophyte -- a fungus that lives in between plant cells. They have found that the fungus produces the vapours to kill off other fungi.

Analysis of the vapour showed it to be rich in hydrocarbons found in diesel, such as octane. Moreover, they identified low-molecular-weight alcohols and esters that burn much more cleanly and efficiently than diesel.