News International Sugar Journal

Bioengineered E. coli synthesises high-energy rocket fuel [Registered]

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications. With improvements in process efficiency, the biofuel could supplement limited supplies of petroleum-based JP-10, and might also facilitate development of a new generation of more powerful engines. By inserting enzymes from trees into the bacterium, the researchers boosted pinene production six-fold over earlier bioengineering efforts. Though a more dramatic improvement will be needed before pinene dimers can compete with petroleum-based JP-10,…

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