An international team of researchers, including scientists from your University of York, has discovered a collection of enzymes associated with fungi that will be able to wearing down one of the many different parts of wood.
The role fungi plays in breaking down wood from the carbon cycle inspired researchers to research the mechanisms which allow the process to occur.
The enzymes could now potentially be used to sustainably convert wood biomass into valuable chemical commodities such as biofuels.
As a replacement for coal and oil, wood is increasingly one of the most promising reasons for advanced biofuels. However, despite its potential, it is just a difficult material to breakdown.
Current wood biorefineries have to use pre-treatment processes, making the conversion of wood into fuels and merchandise expensive and energy-consuming.
In ecosystems fungi play a significant role in digesting wood while in the carbon cycle, releasing nutrients back into soil.
This property of fungi inspired they to examine the mechanisms that enable using this method that occurs.
“Back this season we made the real key discovery that the list of enzymes associated with fungi, contain copper