Cars could run on sugar cane and corn husks if two Australian brothers have their way.
Geoff and Phillip Bell’s technology could be the answer to the world’s appetite for fuel and food. It would also mean food crops would not need to be grown for fuel and the leftover yeast is turned into high quality animal feed.
The Australian researchers showed their findings at the AusBiotech Conference in Melbourne, the largest biotechnology industry gathering in the Asia-Pacific.
AusBiotech chief executive Anna Lavelle said their discovery was of “global significance’’.
Dr Lavelle told AAP that the technology deserved to be fully exploited. Geoff Bell said instead of taking away from the food supply, this technology would add to it.
The sale of the feed from the leftover yeast can then be sold to offset the cost of ethanol production and could assist farmers who have unprofitable sugar cane farms. Mr Bell told AAP that the value of production in these areas could triple per hectare.
The Age reported that the Bells’ company, Microbiogen, financed their research with a $2.5 million grant from the federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency and funding from the Department of Energy in the USA.