A Fragrant New Biofuel

We’ve been talking about fragrances and perfumes in this website. Have you ever imagined potential uses of odorant molecules in the future, other than providing scents to the environment?

 A team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute(JBEI) have engineered Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria to generate significant quantities of methyl ketone compounds from glucose. These methyl ketones yielded high cetane numbers (Source: Wikipedia), a diesel fuel rating comparable to octane number in gasoline. What this means is that methyl ketone, a naturally occurring compound in tomatoes, insects and microorganisms, can serve as a potential source of biofuels (Source: National Geographic).

Read more about how this was achieved and what this entails for the future in e! Science News.

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