York researchers find crustacean may be key to creating biofuel from wood
December 10, 2018
Scientists studying the digestive system of a curious wood-eating crustacean have discovered it may hold the key to sustainably converting wood into biofuel.
Gribble are small marine invertebrates that have evolved to perform an important ecological role eating the abundant supplies of wood washed into the sea from river estuaries.
A team of scientists, led by the University of York, studied the hind gut of gribble, and discovered that Hemocyanins – the same proteins that make the blood of invertebrates blue - are crucial to their ability to extract sugars from wood.The discovery brings researchers a step closer to identifying cheaper and more sustainable tools for converting wood into low carbon fuel – a promising alternative to fossil fuels like coal and oil.