• 2 minutes U.S. Presidential Elections Status - Electoral Votes
  • 5 minutes “Cushing Oil Inventories Are Soaring Again” By Tsvetana Paraskova
  • 7 minutes United States LNG Exports Reach Third Place
  • 32 mins https://www.prageru.com/video/whats-wrong-with-wind-and-solar/
  • 5 hours Here it is, the actual Complaint filed by Dominion Voting Machines against Sydney Powell
  • 1 day Pollster Frank Luntz released a poll today showing 90% of those that voted for Trump in November would vote for him again.
  • 4 hours Tonight Twitter took down Trump's personal account permanently. Trump responded on the POTUS account.
  • 1 day Do Republicans like Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Mitt Romney and now McConnell think voting for Impeachment can save the party ? Without Trump base what is the Republican constituency ? It's over.
  • 3 hours CNN's Jake Tapper questions double amputee purple heart recipient GOP Rep's commitment to democracy. Tapper is a disgrace.
  • 1 day ICE Engines Hear to Stay Regardless of War Against
  • 4 hours A Message from President Donald J. Trump - 5 minutes from The White House directly
  • 7 hours The World Economic Forum & Davos - Setting the agenda on fossil fuels, global regulations, etc.
  • 1 day Minerals, Mining and Industrial Ecology
  • 1 day a In 2020, we produced and delivered half a million cars.
  • 1 day Trump Supporters Just Handed a Huge Propaganda Victory to China
  • 2 days Evidence is evidence, voter fraud by state
Exxon’s Big Bet On Algae Biofuels Is Crumbling

Exxon’s Big Bet On Algae Biofuels Is Crumbling

ExxonMobil has made significant investments…

Hand Sanitizer Boom Could Save The Ethanol Industry

Hand Sanitizer Boom Could Save The Ethanol Industry

While the ethanol industry continues…

Andy Soos

Andy Soos

Andy Soos is a writer for the news site: Environmental News Network

More Info

Premium Content

Butanol Breakthrough – Could This Biofuel One Day Replace Gasoline?

Butanol may be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine. Because its longer hydrocarbon chain causes it to be fairly non-polar, it is more similar to gasoline than it is to ethanol. Butanol has been demonstrated to work in vehicles designed for use with gasoline without modification. University of California, Berkeley, chemists have engineered bacteria to churn out a gasoline-like biofuel (butanol) at about 10 times the rate of competing microbes, a breakthrough that could soon provide an affordable transportation fuel.

The potential feedstocks are the same as for ethanol: energy crops such as sugar beets, sugar cane, corn grain, wheat and cassava, prospective non-food energy crops such as switchgrass and even guayule in North America, as well as agricultural byproducts such as straw and corn stalks.

The advance is reported in this week's issue of the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

Biobutanol can be produced by fermentation of biomass by the A.B.E. process. The process uses the bacteriumClostridium acetobutylicum, also known as the Weizmann organism.

Various species of the Clostridium bacteria naturally produce a chemical called n-butanol (normal butanol) that has been proposed as a greener substitute for diesel oil and gasoline. While most researchers, including a few biofuel companies, have genetically altered Clostridium to boost its ability to produce n-butanol, others have plucked enzymes from the bacteria and inserted them into other microbes, such as yeast, to turn them into n-butanol factories. Yeast and E. coli, one of the main bacteria in the human gut, are considered to be easier to grow on an industrial scale.

While these techniques have produced promising genetically altered E. coli bacteria and yeast, n-butanol production has been limited.

Chang and her colleagues stuck the same enzyme pathway into E. coli, but replaced two of the five enzymes with look-alikes from other organisms that avoided one of the problems other researchers have had: n-butanol being converted back into its chemical precursors by the same enzymes that produce it.

The basic steps evolved by Clostridium to make butanol involve five enzymes that convert a common molecule, acetyl-CoA, into n-butanol. Other researchers who have engineered yeast or E. coli to produce n-butanol have taken the entire enzyme pathway and transplanted it into these microbes. However, n-butanol is not produced rapidly in these systems because the native enzymes can work in reverse to convert butanol back into its starting precursors.

Chang avoided this problem by searching for organisms that have similar enzymes, but that work so slowly in reverse that little n-butanol is lost through a backward reaction.

By. Andy Soos


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • KitemanSA on January 20 2012 said:
    Can they make it eat syn-gas? If so, they may have something big here.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News