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November 30 2012

Scientists discover tobacco tree that could be used as biofuel


Researchers at Royal Holloway have been awarded a grant from the European Union, after identifying a tobacco tree that could produce biofuels.

Scientists in the School of Biological Sciences discovered that Nicotiana Glauca produces compounds that can be used as a biodiesel. This could be used directly as fuel or cracked to produce petroleum products.

Significantly, the plant is known to grow well in warm and arid climates. It does not require fertile ground and can thrive in regions that only get 200mm of rainfall a year, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

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