Wind in the wil­lows

Element - - WORLD -

Wil­low trees cul­ti­vated for ‘green en­ergy’ can yield up to five times more bio­fuel if they grow di­ag­o­nally, com­pared with those that are al­lowed to grow nat­u­rally up to­wards the sky.

Bri­tish re­searchers have iden­ti­fied a ge­netic trait that ac­ti­vated in some trees when they sense they are at an an­gle, in­creas­ing slightly mod­i­fied ‘re­ac­tion wood’ which more eas­ily re­leases the su­gars from which bio­fu­els are made.

Their re­search took them to the wind-bat­tered Orkney is­lands, where the trees grow at an an­gle due to the con­stant pre­vail­ing con­di­tions. Here it was dis­cov­ered the trees were “five times bet­ter at re­leas­ing their su­gars.”

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