Archive for the ‘GMO and economy’ Category

How GMOs participate in renewable energies

March 27, 2008

eabio129.jpg“Brazil GMO firm seeks cellulosic ethanol from cane”

A Brazilian biotechnology company aims to find a way to increase the production of one of the most promising biofuels: cellulosic ethanol.

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In this discussion, we will focus on the GMOs role into the cellulosic ethanol production, and on the environmental and economic impacts. 

Cellulosic ethanol is the new generation of biofuel. Compared to the corn ethanol, its environmental impact is reduced, and its economic benefit seems to be more interesting.

But let’s talk about the role GMOs play into its production.

First, the corn used as raw material can help convert itself into ethanol if its genetic code is altered.

This leads firms to save money. For example, an enzyme that should have been added to the natural corn is not needed anymore.

This reduces the production time, simplifies the technological process and save money on the enzyme.

Currently, the GMOs can increase the cellulosic ethanol production by 2% to 5% per year. Other procedures could lead to improve this percentage in the next years. The example of Allelyx, which tries to create plants enriched in syringyl, and the growing numbers of farmers planting GMO corn to meet ethanol demand, are the proof that GMOs can offer a real advantage in the biofuels market.

 Cellulosic ethanol is more environmentally friendly than the corn ethanol: it uses two times less raw material and less fossil fuel and water.

The crops are specifically grown on marginal soils for this purpose. This prevents the soil from erosion and also avoids conflicts drawn by crops which serve both to feed people and to produce ethanol.

Cellulosic ethanol is also economically advantageous, as you can produce more using less material and technologies.

GMOs indirectly take an active part in improving the renewable energies.

Some useful links: