Petrol-Like Biofuel Produced From Bacteria

Petrol-Like Biofuel Produced From Bacteria

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF EXETER, EXETER, UNITED KINGDOM. Using genes from the camphor tree, soil bacteria and blue-green algae, scientists in the UK are trying to develop a new type of biofuel that will work well with the current engine designs that we have.

Right now, the current biofuels that are being used are still made up of hydrocarbon chains of the wrong size and shape. It has to be this way in order to work effectively with most modern engines. The only problem is that this type of biofuel will corrode the engine over time.

Some other types of biofuels are also being considered as a more popular alternative to fossil fuel since it is carbon-neutral over its lifetime. However, modern engines would need to be redesigned in order for it to convert the fuel into a more usable form efficiently.

That is why John Love from the University of Exeter in the UK and his team created new DNA out of Escherichia coli bacteria. The modified E. coli produced enzymes that converted the sugar into fatty acids after it was fed with glucose. It also turned into chemically and structurally identical hydrocarbons which were also present in fuels that are commercially available.

All they have to do right now is to work on how to mass-produce the hydrocarbons. The study also shows potential of using a similar approach for bio-manufacturing other chemicals that we currently get from petroleum aside from biofuels. Shell’s research arm partly funded the work for the research.

Invention Biofuel From Bacteria
Organization University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
Researcher Professor John Love & Team
Field(s) Fuel, Biofuel, Bacteria, E. Coli
Further Information

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