Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Engineered Cyanobacteria: New Source for Biofuels

Engineered Cyanobacteria: New Source for Biofuels

Scientists have engineered a cyanobacteria to produce sugars which may be used as raw material for ethanol and designer fuels production.
Nobles made the new cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) by giving them a set of cellulose-making genes from a non-photosynthetic "vinegar" bacterium, Acetobacter xylinum, well known as a prolific cellulose producer.

The new cyanobacteria produce a relatively pure, gel-like form of cellulose that can be broken down easily into glucose.

Considering that the bacteria can be grown in production facilities on non-agricultural lands using salty water unsuitable for human consumption or crops, and that the sugars produced are more readily convertible to ethanol, the authors suggest that the bacteria may be a feasible alternative to using plant crops for biofuel production


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