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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Scientists Discover Way to Make Clean Fuel From Sugar

June 27, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

British and American scientists have discovered a way to make a clean fuel from sugar, a discovery that could revolutionize the energy industry.

The process uses enzymes from bacteria that live near hot underwater vents to convert glucose into hydrogen and water.

A clean and cheap way to produce pure hydrogen has been a holy grail for energy researchers, who are seeking ways to replace pollution-creating fossil fuels and atomic reactors. But it is in its very preliminary stages, because the conversion has been achieved so far only on a small scale in the laboratory.

Biochemist Michael Danson of the University of Bath in England reported in the July issue of Nature Biotechnology that the process could also use simple cellulose--the basic component of plants, including grass--and produces no carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

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