Work at KTH Royal Institute on making biobutanol
The building blocks of blue-green algae – sunlight, carbon dioxide and bacteria – are being used by researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm to produce butanol, a hydrocarbon-like fuel for motor vehicles.
The advantage of butanol is that the raw materials are abundant and renewable, and production has the potential to be 20 times more efficient than making ethanol from corn and sugar cane.
Using genetically-modified cyanobacteria, the team linked butanol production to the algae's natural metabolism, says Paul Hudson, a researcher at the School of Biotechnology at KTH who leads the research. "With relevant genes integrated in the right place in cyanobacteria's genome, we have tricked the cells to produce butanol instead of fulfilling their normal function," he says.
The team demonstrated that it can control butanol production by changing the conditions in the surrounding environment. This opens up other opportunities for control, such as producing butanol during specific times of day, Hudson says.
Link at: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-fuel-bacteria-genetically-modified-cyanobacteria-efficient.html#jCp