Modified E. Coli bacteria can produce diesel fuel

Posted Apr 25, 2013 by Matthew Hendricks
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 the World Health Organization  Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common bacterium usually...
According to the World Health Organization, Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common bacterium usually found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals and humans, though some strains, such as enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), spread by contaminated foods, can cause severe illness.
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According to, 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. 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.