New Discovery: Fungus Diesel

A Montana State University professor returned from a rainforest in Patagonia recently with limbs from an Ulmo tree. Little did he know that the limbs contained a fungus that would land his name, Gary Strobel, in the science headlines of the world.

This little organism, Gliocladium roseum, does something unheard of: it produces a gas which contains all the chemical components of Diesel fuel. Strobel calls it “myco-diesel”. Currently Diesel is refined from crude oil. This microscopic self-contained refinery has stirred the scientific world.

That it produces diesel is an amazing fact, but the material it uses to produce it is equally amazing. Basically it eats plant material, including cellulose, then turns it into diesel. Cellulose makes up the cellular walls in plants and is the most common biological material on earth.

Currently it is a difficult and expensive process to turn cellulose into fuel. Understanding how this little wonder does it may revolutionize bio-fuel production. Imagine using the corn stalks instead of the corn for bio-fuel production. Bio-fuel cannot be expected to completely replace our oil consumption needs, but it may become a more economical fuel supplement.

Recently a team from Yale disclosed the discovery of a similar fungus in another rainforest. Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,

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