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article imageModified E. Coli bacteria can produce diesel fuel

By Matthew Hendricks     Apr 25, 2013 in Science
Researchers have given e.coli bacteria a desired use by genetically modifying them to change sugar into an oil close enough to diesel that can be used in engines. Scaling up this process could be an alternative to fossil fuels.
According to bbc.co.uk, researchers genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert sugar into an oil that is almost identical to conventional diesel.
By altering the bacteria's genes, they were able to transform the bugs into fuel-producing factories.
Professor John Love, the leader of the research said it would take about 100 litres of bacteria to produce a single teaspoon of the fuel.
If the process could be scaled up, this synthetic fuel could be a viable alternative to the fossil fuel.
Smithsonianmag.com reports however that one of the problems that need to be overcome would be that energy never comes from thin air, and the energy contained within this bacterial fuel mostly originates in the broth of fatty acids that the bacteria are grown on.
As a result, depending on the source of these fatty acids, this new fuel could be subject to some of the same criticisms leveled at biofuels currently in production.
More about Ecoli, Diesel, Fuel, Bacteria
 
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