Researchers in England have found a way to use seawater to replace freshwater in the production of bioethanol, which actually has an extremely high water footprint.

Currently, the production of a litre of bioethanol requires between 1,388 and 9,812 litres of freshwater.

A microbiologist at the University of Nottingham, Abdelrahman Zaky, proved it is possible to cut the use of freshwater by using seawater from the Lincolnshire coast and a new strain of marine-based yeast.

Zaky explains that marine fermentation presents an alternative to current fermentation technologies, reducing the pressure on the use of freshwater and arable land for the growing of crops. In marine fermentation, the fermentation process requires seawater, marine biomass and marine microorganisms. In addition to bioethanol, it produces salt and freshwater as bi-products.


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