Microbes Have Been Genetically Engineered For The First Time To Produce Propane

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Scientists have for the first time genetically engineered microbes to produce renewable propane, a major component of liquid petroleum gas.

Propane is considered a viable biofuel because it can more easily be separated and stored as a liquid than other fuel alternatives such as hydrogen, methane or butanol.

Patrik Jones of Imperial College London and colleagues engineered E. coli in the laboratory to produce a synthetic pathway for this fossil fuel.

Although the initial yields were low, the team was able to identify and add essential biochemical components to boost the biosynthesis reaction, enabling a specific E. coli strain to synthesise propane in considerable amounts.

The study is published in study in the journal Nature Communications.

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