SunEthanol, Harvard University announce partnership

By Anna Austin | June 02, 2008
Web exclusive posted June 23, 2008 at 12:42 a.m. CST

SunEthanol Inc. and Harvard University's Office of Technology Development have formed a partnership to further develop a method of converting biomass to ethanol.

SunEthanol, a biofuels technology company, currently converts cellulose into ethanol using a proprietary natural bacterium. Harvard Medical School researchers will now work to demonstrate the potential capabilities of a modified strain of the bacterium or "Q Microbe" to deliver higher yields of ethanol than the original source.

"We are very excited to team with our colleagues at Harvard University to bring their pioneering expertise in genome science to bear on the creation of fuel from biomass," SunEthanol founder Jef Sharp said.

Isaac T. Kohlberg, senior associate provost and chief technology development officer said that teaming with SunEthanol, a leader in alternative energy, illustrates the broad impact that Harvard's expertise in genetic engineering may have well beyond its traditional applications in medicine.

Project research will be conducted in the laboratory by George Church, Ph.D., a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Computational Genetics.