Engineered E.coli can help produce biofuel

        Since  global warming has been and still is a major issue and because of the concerns about long-term fossil fuel availability  researchers have looked for an alternative renewable and cost efficient fuel. Scientists have been looking into fuel made from plant biomass. The basic concept of this article  explains how the JBEI researchers are using a specially engineered strain of Echerichia coli gram negative bacillus bacterium to produce biofuel from biomass. Using this microbes can contribute towards producing reusable chemicals and cost effective 
fuels. The oils produced from energy rich fatty acids from animals and plants are usually used as a source of chemicals and fuels. E. coli can synthesize fatty acids. Combining E.coli with new biochemical reactions lead to the production of tailored fatty esters, alcohols and waxes. Fatty esters are the primary components of biofuel. Regular E.coli does not make extra fatty acid because it uses up energy so the JBEI researches genetically engineered this microbe.  This inhibits the bacterium to consume fatty acids as a source of energy by splitting fatty acids from carrier proteins, which allows natural regulations to unlock. This creates an abundant amount of fatty acids. The researches also engineered E.coli to produce hemicellulases. This enzyme allows the bacteria to break down the sugar in cellulosic biomass. These special strains of E coli help produce direct biofuel from plant biomass. The research team is currently working on maximizing the speed and efficiency of biomass conversion to biofuels. Another similar article   encourages the use of engineered E.coli bacterium. Ecoli can take in gluceose and ethanol to produce fatty acid methyl ester, fatty alcohols, waxes and simple sugars. these productions can also be used for other purposes. This production doesn’t need to use human or animal food sources so this prevents the issue of increasing the prices for food crops for biofuel. It has been determined that this process is more efficient than other plant derived biofuels and corn ethanol.


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