A simple process would extract lipids used to make biodiesel from algae and transform them into usable fuel in one fell swoop. This could make biodiesel production from algae cheaper, faster and greener than current methods.
Caption: Algae, shown here growing in laboratory flasks, could become an economical source of biofuels thanks to new research presented at the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Conference. Image: Lindsay Soh
Scientists Discover New Clue to Chemical Origins of Life
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2012) — Organic chemists at the University of York have made a significant advance towards establishing the origin of the carbohydrates (sugars) that form the building blocks of life.
A team led by Dr Paul Clarke in the Department of Chemistry at York has re-created a process which could have occurred in the prebiotic world.
Working with colleagues at the University of Nottingham, they have made the first step towards showing how simple sugars — threose and erythrose — developed. The research is published in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry.
All biological molecules have an ability to exist as left-handed forms or right-handed forms. All sugars in biology are made up of the right-handed form of molecules and yet all the amino acids that make up the peptides and proteins are made up of the left-handed form.