- Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building - http://inhabitat.com -

Self-Destructing Bacteria Could Be the Key to Better Biofuels

Posted By Ariel Schwartz On December 9, 2009 @ 5:20 pm In Green Transportation,Renewable Energy | 1 Comment

sustainable design, green design, self-destructing bacteria, clean technology, energy technology, renewable energy, cyanobacteria, algae, pond scum, biofuel

Normally we don’t advocate self-destruction, but in the case of biofuel-producing bacteria [1], it might be a good thing. Researchers at Arizona State University [2] have genetically engineered cyanobacteria [3] that dissolve from the inside out, making it easy to access the high-energy fats and biofuel byproducts located within. The development could be tremendously beneficial for fuel production, since cyanobacteria are photosynthetic microbes (AKA pond scum) that have a higher yield potential than most biofuels currently being used.

sustainable design, green design, self-destructing bacteria, clean technology, energy technology, renewable energy, cyanobacteria, algae, pond scum, biofuel

The ASU researchers combined cyonabacteria material with genes from the bacteriaphage — a so-called “mortal enemy” of bacteria that cause it to explode — to create a new form of cyanobacteria that uses bacteriaphage-like enzymes to dissolve its membranes from within. Previously, scientists had to use a number of cost-intensive steps to access the fats located inside cyanobacteria’s burrito-like protective membranes.

It will probably be a long time before we see biofuels created from the ASU [2] system on the market, but eventually the process could lead to cheaper biofuels [4] — all thanks to some lowly, self-destructive pond scum.

+ Arizona State University [2]

Via Greenbang [5]


Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com

URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/self-destructing-bacteria-could-be-the-key-to-better-biofuels/

URLs in this post:

[1] biofuel-producing bacteria: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/09/29/researchers-generate-biofuel-from-tuberculosis-bacteria/

[2] Arizona State University: http://www.asu.edu/

[3] cyanobacteria: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria

[4] biofuels: http://www.inhabitat.com/tag/biofuel/

[5] Greenbang: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-12/asu-sbi120709.php

Copyright © 2011 Inhabitat Local - New York. All rights reserved.