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Alternative to commercial cellulase enzyme to produce ethanol for second generation (G2) biofuel

A new cellulase preparation discovered by scientists at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi has received a US patent award. This discovery is likely to provide a better alternative to the available option on the market for commercial cellulase enzyme to produce ethanol for second generation (G2) biofuel.

While screening vast microbial consortia from nature, the Microbial Engineering Group led by Dr Syed Shams Yazdani has discovered a cocktail of enzymes that have been shown to have balanced cellulase and hemicellulase activity and can break down the agricultural biomass into simpler sugar with great efficiency.

Currently, there is very limited availability of commercial cellulase enzyme preparation on the market for 2G ethanol and this is often stated as the major reason for the higher cost of 2G ethanol. This discovery is likely to provide a better alternative to the available option on the market. A detailed genomics, proteomics and biochemical characterisation by the Group showed the superiority of cellulases produced by this patented fungal platform compared to previous reports.

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