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    Xing Hui, a 6-year-old giant panda born in China, defecates at the Pairi Daiza wildlife park in Brugelette, Belgium September 28, 2015

    What Can You Do With Panda Poo? Scientists Find Unlikely Power Source

    © REUTERS / Francois Lenoir
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    Researchers in Belgium are studying the excrement produced by giant pandas; they hope to boost the development of a new generation of biofuel.

    Micro-organisms in the digestive tract of pandas present an interesting subject for research, as this carnivorous animal's diet consists almost entirely of cellulose-rich green bamboo.

    “We can look for new enzymes which could be used to degrade tough biomass,” Korneel Rabaey, a professor for biochemical and microbial technology at Ghent University, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

    Second-generation biofuel, which is produced from plants and biomass such as corn stalks, may be improved using the results from this panda poo study.

    Belgian scientists are feeding giant pandas and then collecting and examining their feces at an animal enclosure, the Pairi Daiza, a privately owned zoo in Brugelette, south-west of Brussels.

    A few earlier studies addressed the chemical properties of animal defecation, which may soon make cheaper biofuel available worldwide.


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