Navigation Links
Engineered bacteria make fuel from sunlight
Date:1/7/2013

Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics -- the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry.

"Most chemical feedstocks come from petroleum and natural gas, and we need other sources," said Shota Atsumi, assistant professor of chemistry at UC Davis and lead author on the study published Jan. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The U.S. Department of Energy has set a goal of obtaining a quarter of industrial chemicals from biological processes by 2025.

Biological reactions are good at forming carbon-carbon bonds, using carbon dioxide as a raw material for reactions powered by sunlight. It's called photosynthesis, and cyanobacteria, also known as "blue-green algae," have been doing it for more than 3 billion years.

Using cyanobacteria to grow chemicals has other advantages: they do not compete with food needs, like corn's role in the creation of ethanol.

The challenge is to get the cyanobacteria to make significant amounts of chemicals that can be readily converted to chemical feedstocks. With support from Japanese chemical manufacturer Asahi Kasei Corp., Atsumi's lab at UC Davis has been working on introducing new chemical pathways into the cyanobacteria.

The researchers identified enzymes from online databases that carried out the reactions they were looking for, and then introduced the DNA for these enzymes into the cells. Working a step at a time, they built up a three-step pathway that allows the cyanobacteria to convert carbon dioxide into 2,3 butanediol, a chemical that can be used to make paint, solvents, plastics and fuels.

Because enzymes may work differently in different organisms, it is nearly impossible to predict how well the pathway will work before testing it in an experiment, Atsumi said.

After three weeks growth, the cyanobacteria yielded 2.4 grams of 2,3 butanediol per liter of growth medium -- the highest productivity yet achieved for chemicals grown by cyanobacteria and with potential for commercial development, Atsumi said.

Atsumi hopes to tune the system to increase productivity further and experiment with other products, while corporate partners explore scaling up the technology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Production of 5-aminovaleric and glutaric acid by metabolically engineered microorganism
2. Engineered immune cells produce complete response in child with an aggressive pediatric leukemia
3. Leukemia patients remain in remission more than 2 years after engineered T cell therapy
4. Bioengineered marine algae expands environments where biofuels can be produced
5. Soft Robotics: A groundbreaking new journal on engineered soft devices that Interact with Living Systems
6. Engineered bacteria can make the ultimate sacrifice
7. Ecologist: Genetically engineered algae for biofuel pose potential risks that should be studied
8. Success of engineered tissue depends on where its grown
9. Lab-engineered kidney project reaches early milestone
10. Engineered robot interacts with live fish
11. Engineered microvessels provide a 3-D test bed for human diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the launch ... dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website ... deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, ... suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer will ... resources created and shared by the Allen Institute for ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data ... precision engineering platform, detected a statistically significant ... product prior to treatment and objective response ... the potential to predict whether cancer patients ... to treatment, as well as to improve ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... Resoundant, Inc. is pleased ... centers around the U.S. that offer MR Elastography for liver fibrosis staging. ... biopsy for staging liver fibrosis assessment. , “MRE:connect was created in response to ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... VIC Technology Venture Development™ (VIC™), ... of directors. This addition continues to strengthen and diversify VIC’s board. , "We ... Chairman. “He is a highly accomplished business executive with a broad range of experience ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... to corporate governance at its 27th annual Director of the Year Awards. , The ... Hyatt Regency La Jolla. This annual event celebrates directors who have made significantly ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Sourcing custom glass or ... needs and has the capabilities to properly execute your job can take many hours ... is a sourcing portal designed to showcase the company’s capabilities and core custom ...
Breaking Biology Technology: