Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have devised a technique for turning some of the harder parts of a plant into fuel, a breakthrough that could further bring down the cost of biofuels.
Two of the major components of plant material are cellulose and lignin. Lignin essentially turns fibers into wood. It hardens cell walls and binds cellulose fibers together. It's the reason we have coal. If ancient plants hadn't had lignin, microorganisms would have eaten them and thus, the plants would never have been transformed into rock. (There's your fun primordial fact for the day.) … Read more