Gallery: The Wood-Eating Gribble May Hold the Key to Biofuel Production

 
Damage to wood by the tiny gribble

What’s a Gribble? It’s a tiny marine shrimp found on the southern coast of Britain — and its ability to digest wood may provide a breakthrough in efficient biofuel production. Researchers are studying the gribble’s digestion process at a new UK bioenergy centre in order to synthetically copy the process so that grasses, husk, straw and willow can be converted more efficiently into biofuels. The scientists reckon that information learned from the gribble could increase the efficiency of biofuel conversion by a factor of 6, making biofuels even more cost effective and utilizing non-food crops.

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