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ISU researcher develops green, bio-based process for producing fuel additive
Date:6/24/2010

from the vessel in which it was made, and that should be a very cheap and efficient way to purify the biofuel," said Bobik.

One of the drawbacks, Bobik warns, is the process currently takes too long.

"The activity of the enzyme (in making the isobutene) is low," Bobik said.

"It's too low for commercial application. So we're trying to use directed enzyme evolution to improve the activity of the enzyme so it can become commercially viable."

Directed enzyme evolution is the effort to engineer enzymes to perform certain functions. In this case, it is trying to find a way to get the enzyme to produce isobutene more quickly than in nature.

Bobik says progress is being made rapidly and perhaps, within 10 years, motorists may be using a bio-based, environmentally friendly ingredient in their gas tanks every time they fill up.


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Contact: Thomas Bobik
bobik@iastate.edu
515-294-4165
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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