September 22, 2008
Genetically modified microbe
cranks out ethanol
Knock the right genes out of a certain
heat-loving bacteria and you can get it to ferment biomass into ethanol
and only ethanol.
Several kinds of bacteria ferment carbohydrates from biomass,
but the output has been a mix of ethanol and other substances. In
addition, using bacteria that function at higher temperatures reduces
the amount of catalyst needed for fermentation.
The engineered bacteria strain produces 37 grams of ethanol
per liter of carbohydrate, the highest amount so far for thermophilic
bacteria, according to the researchers.
Engineering of a Thermophilic Bacterium to Produce Ethanol at High
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online
September 8, 2008
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