Learning English - Words in the News
12 September, 2007 - Published 12:36 GMT
New way to produce biofuels
Scientists in Brazil say they have found a novel way of improving the production of biofuels. The researchers say that fermenting sugar cane in the presence of magnets boosted production by 17% and made the process faster. This report from Matt McGrath:
Many countries around the world are trying to reduce their dependence on oil by emulating Brazil where bio ethanol provides about 30% of automobile fuel. But the process of making bio ethanol by fermenting sugar cane is time-consuming, inefficient and expensive.
Now a team of researchers at Brazil's State University of Campinas say they have found a way of improving the production process by using extremely low frequency magnetic waves. The team attached two electromagnetic generators to a vat containing a mixture of yeast and sugar cane. They found that the production of ethanol increased by 17% and it speeded up the time required to produce the fuel by two hours.
The scientists involved are unsure as to how exactly the process works but they believe that the magnets stimulate the yeast and make it work faster and more intensely. They believe their discovery can be easily implemented at an industrial scale.
Matt McGrath, BBC
low frequency magnetic waves
speeded up the time required
Try a comprehension quiz based on this story
Download lesson plan 74K