Navigation Links
UCLA researchers engineer bacteria to turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
Date:12/10/2009

Global climate change has prompted efforts to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels.

In a new approach, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative. The reaction is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis.

The research appears in the Dec. 9 print edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology and is available online.

This new method has two advantages for the long-term, global-scale goal of achieving a cleaner and greener energy economy, the researchers say. First, it recycles carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. Second, it uses solar energy to convert the carbon dioxide into a liquid fuel that can be used in the existing energy infrastructure, including in most automobiles.

While other alternatives to gasoline include deriving biofuels from plants or from algae, both of these processes require several intermediate steps before refinement into usable fuels.

"This new approach avoids the need for biomass deconstruction, either in the case of cellulosic biomass or algal biomass, which is a major economic barrier for biofuel production," said team leader James C. Liao, Chancellor's Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA and associate director of the UCLADepartment of Energy Institute for Genomics and Proteomics. "Therefore, this is potentially much more efficient and less expensive than the current approach."

Using the cyanobacterium Synechoccus elongatus, researchers first genetically increased the quantity of the carbon dioxidefixing enzyme RuBisCO. Then they spliced genes from other microorganisms to engineer a strain that intakes carbon dioxide and sunlight and produces isobutyraldehyde gas. The low boiling point and high vapor pressure of the gas allows it to easily be stripped from the system.

The engineered bacteria can produce isobutanol directly, but researchers say it is currently easier to use an existing and relatively inexpensive chemical catalysis process to convert isobutyraldehyde gas to isobutanol, as well as other useful petroleum-based products.

In addition to Liao, the research team included lead author Shota Atsumi, a former UCLA postdoctoral scholar now on the UC Davis faculty, and UCLA postdoctoral scholar Wendy Higashide.

An ideal place for this system would be next to existing power plants that emit carbon dioxide, the researchers say, potentially allowing the greenhouse gas to be captured and directly recycled into liquid fuel.

"We are continuing to improve the rate and yield of the production," Liao said. "Other obstacles include the efficiency of light distribution and reduction of bioreactor cost. We are working on solutions to these problems."


'/>"/>

Contact: Matthew Chin
mchin@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0680
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Berkeley Lab researchers participate in Homeland Security study of subway airflow
2. Hebrew University, American researchers show trigger to stem cell differentiation
3. Carnegie Mellon researchers receive grant
4. Researchers finds hidden sensory system in the skin
5. Researchers demonstrate nanoscale X-ray imaging of bacterial cells
6. Texas AgriLife researchers helping
7. Stopping MRSA before it becomes dangerous is possible, Sandia/UNM researchers find
8. VAI researchers find long awaited key to creating drought resistant crops
9. UGA researchers lead team in discovery involving devastating freshwater fish parasite, Ich
10. Nervy research: Researchers take initial look at ion channels in a model system
11. Yerkes researchers create first transgenic prairie voles
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/7/2017)... 7, 2017 Brandwatch , the leading social intelligence ... Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to support its reporting, help ... The UK,s leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch Analytics ... get a better understanding of the topics and issues that are ... ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Summary This report provides ... its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Read the full report: ... since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the partnering ... On demand company reports are prepared upon purchase ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... 2017 Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine ... signed an agreement with the Monash Lung Biology Network, ... Institute and Department of Pharmacology at Monash University, ... study to support the use of Cymerus™ mesenchymal stem ... Asthma is a chronic, long term lung condition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... The traditional ... being pressured as of late due to the rise of ... has a dramatic impact on patient,s quality of life as ... for identifying new forms of opioid formulations that prevent abuse. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017   Boston Biomedical , ... therapeutics designed to target cancer stemness pathways, today announced ... Andrews as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 24, ... Chiang J. Li , M.D., FACP, who has led ... ago. Under his leadership, Boston Biomedical has grown from ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... ... Premier executive recruitment firm, Slone Partners, is proud to have been named a Top ... Hunt Scanlon Media is one of the most respected life science publications in the ... sector. , “It is a great honor for Slone Partners to be part of ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... Proper glycosylation is critical for ... increase and/or decrease in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity or complement-dependent cytotoxicity, there is a ... , To meet this demand, the team at SCIEX has developed a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: