E. Coli to Gasoline: What Bioengineering has Made Possible
We all know that diesel can be made from bio-engineering, and plastics, but it hasn’t been reported that petrol, in its refined state of gasoline, was possible to synthesize until now. It all happens through the development of “platform Escherichia coli strains that are capable of producing short-chain alkanes (SCAs; petrol), free fatty acids (FFAs), fatty esters and fatty alcohols through the fatty acyl (acyl carrier protein (ACP)) to fatty acid to fatty acyl-CoA pathway.”
Yes, those unruly bacteria that make the news a couple times a year for tainting some cheap imported produce might actually be a resource for alternative fuel pioneers in the coming years. Better still, this strand of E. Coli can potentially be modified to convert livestock waste, which could be integral in developing systems that transform waste into energy on a larger scale.
That’s right, polyester, harvested from engineered microbes creating enzymes that in turn create plastic. As this technology continues to show its merits, we will continue toward a path of becoming carbon neutral.