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MIT Turns Carbon Dioxide from Bioengineered Soil Bacteria into Clean Biofuel
Posted By Lidija Grozdanic On January 25, 2013 @ 9:30 am In green technology,Green Transportation,News | 1 Comment
Scientists at MIT  have genetically engineered a soil bacteria that can create fuel for cars. The bioengineered  Ralstonia eutropha converts carbon into isobutanol—an alcohol that can replace or blend with gasoline used by vehicles. The new technology could help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels  and significantly decrease our carbon footprint.
The Ralstonia eutropha bacterium is able to turn molecules of carbon from sugar into energy-dense polymers. By swapping out its genes MIT  biologists were able to get the bacteria to produce isobutanol instead of the polymer.
Unlike common biofuels  that have to go through a process of modification in order to be used in cars, the new energy-dense fuel produced by the soil bacteria could directly replace gasoline, requiring no refining.
Scientists are now looking into making the bacteria  create isobutanol straight from fossil fuel emissions . They believe that, with additional genetic alterations, the bacteria sould be able to feed on carbon from any source—from industrial carbon dioxide gas emissions to agricultural waste . The bacteria already utilize hydrogen and carbon dioxide for growth.
The MIT research has received about $1.8 million from ARPA-E - the Advanced Research Projects Agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that focuses on high-risk, high-reward projects. The research was published in the August issue of the journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.
+ MIT News 
Via Co. Exist 
Second Image by Christopher Brigham, MIT
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/mit-turns-carbon-dioxide-from-bioengineered-soil-bacteria-into-clean-biofuel/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/01/Cupriavidus_necator.jpg
 MIT: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/genetically-modified-organism-can-turn-carbon-dioxide-into-fuel-0821.html
 bioengineered: http://inhabitat.com/artist-john-oshea-to-create-a-bioengineered-pigs-bladder-soccer-ball/
 fossil fuels: http://inhabitat.com/fossil-fuels-receive-12x-more-subsidies-than-renewables/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/01/isobutanolbacteria.jpg
 MIT: http://inhabitat.com/tag/mit
 biofuels: http://inhabitat.com/tag/biofuel
 bacteria: http://inhabitat.com/cohen-van-balen-makes-soap-from-pigeons-poop-using-specially-designed-bacteria/
 fossil fuel emissions: http://inhabitat.com/14-new-carbon-bomb-fossil-fuel-projects-threaten-to-increase-global-emissions-by-20-percent/
 agricultural waste: http://inhabitat.com/adital-elas-biodegradable-terra-stools-are-made-of-earth-and-cost-zero-energy-to-produce/
 $1.8 million from ARPA-E: http://inhabitat.com/u-s-department-of-energy-announces-new-biofuel-for-the-replacement-of-gasoline/
 Co. Exist: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681237/the-bugs-in-dirt-could-start-making-us-gas?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fastcompany%2Fheadlines+%28Fast+Company%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
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