Profile image
By science and Technology Press
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Bacteria Biofuel- Secret Ingredient E. Coli

Saturday, November 12, 2016 16:49
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents. (Subscribe via Email)

E. coli can cause serious food poisoning, but scientists at the University of Exeter have turned it into a driving force. 7:06pm UK, Wednesday 24 April 2013

Scientists have developed a biofuel that could be a direct replacement for diesel at the pumps – with the help of E. coli bacteria.
Most biofuels that are currently available are not truly compatible with modern engines.
New Scientist pointed out that such fuels will work, but not efficiently, and will corrode an engine over time.
It said engines would have to be redesigned, or an extra processing step introduced, in order to convert the fuel into a more mainstream form.
Because of this, current biofuels are generally used as additives, or “drop in” fuels, rather than a complete fuel in their own right.

However, John Love from the University of Exeter has found a way to create hydrocarbons that are chemically and structurally identical to those found in commercial diesel.
Dr Love and his colleagues took genes from the camphor tree, soil bacteria and blue-green algae and then spliced them into the DNA of the Escherichia coli bacterium – better known as E. coli.
Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning in humans.
The scientists fed glucose to the modified E. coli, which ultimately produced a substance similar to commercial diesel.
The glucose used by Dr Love and his team came from plants, but he believes straw or animal manure could be used to carry out the process on a larger scale.

“We are biologically producing the fuel that the oil industry makes and sells,” Dr Love insisted.
The University of Exeter said: “E. coli bacteria naturally turn sugars into fat to build their cell membranes.
“Synthetic fuel oil molecules can be created by harnessing this natural oil production process.
“Large scale manufacturing using E. coli as the catalyst is already commonplace in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Although the biodiesel is currently produced in tiny quantities in the laboratory, work will continue to see if this may be a viable commercial pathway to ‘drop in’ fuels.”
Shell, which partially funded the project, said it hoped the discovery could help limit the rise in carbon dioxide emissions while responding to the growing global requirement for transport fuel.

The World of Science and Technology
The World of Science and Technology


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.