Using microbes to make carbon-neutral fuel

This article from Science Daily is produced by Washington University in St. Louis

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a new way to train microbes to make a readily usable biofuel.

A team of biologists and engineers modified a microbe called Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 (TIE-1) so that it can produce a biofuel using only three renewable and naturally abundant source ingredients: carbon dioxide, solar panel-generated electricity and light.

The resulting biofuel, n-butanol, is an authentically carbon-neutral fuel alternative that can be used in blends with diesel or gasoline. The results are reported Nov. 3 in the journal Communications Biology.

The study was led by Arpita Bose, associate professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, and co-authored by members of her laboratory and engineers from the McKelvey School of Engineering, also at Washington University.

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