Wednesday, 11 Nov, 2009 Environment

Latest Discovery: Producing Fuel From CO2 Using Engineered Microbes


Joule Biotechnologies recently stated that it managed to directly generate fuel from the abundant CO2 in the air by making use of highly engineered photosynthetic microbes.

The later thrive off of sunlight and carbon dioxide within special reactors. As a result, based on the type of organism, they are able to generate straight ethanol, diesel or a number of other hydrocarbons, informs Gas2.0.

The company's latest discovery might be considered similar to biofuels generated from algae, but it involves a completely different approach. The engineers from Joule Biotechnologies apply a beneficially different mechanism for a number of reasons, including the fact that their process does not produce biomass, there is no need to use agricultural feedstock, it can be carried out on non-arable land, it doesn't require fresh water and it generate fuel directly, which means there is no need for refinement.

It seems that Joule's latest discovery involves the use of unique genes found inside the microbes that generate the enzymes responsible for producing the molecules that can be found in diesel. After discovering the genes, it was rather easy for researchers to make other types of fuels. Up till now the production of fuels took part only in laboratory conditions. However, the company looks forward to bring their latest discovery to a pilot factory that is expected to open in 2011.

Posted by greendan80

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