News International Sugar Journal

E. coli bioengineered to produce high octane biofuels [Registered]

Using tools of synthetic biology, researchers at Harvard University are bioengineering new lines of engineered bacteria (E. coli) to make key precursors of high-octane biofuels similar to gasoline. The same lines can also produce precursors of pharmaceuticals, bioplastics, herbicides, detergents, and more. Research led by Pamela Silver and her team are specifically focusing on medium-chain fatty acids-those with chains between four and 12 carbons long. Fatty acids with shorter chains do not store enough energy to be good fuels and they tend to vaporize easily, while those with chains longer than 12 carbons are too waxy. But medium-length fatty acids…

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