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Home NATIONALFinnish researchers find way of creating propane through biosynthesis
Tue, 07 Oct, 2014 12:00:20 AM
FTimes- Xinhua Report, Oct 7
Scientists in Finland have been able to create propane gas through biosynthesis, the University of Turku said on Monday.
The researchers at the Molecular Plant Biology laboratories at the University of Turku have genetically engineered microbes to produce renewable propane for the first time.
They will now continue the project with a view to produce propane fuel for automobiles. The system is based on using coliform bacteria.
The leader of the Finnish project, Professor Pauli Kallio from Turku University, told media that the team hopes to be able to develop the newly found process so that it is economical in large scale production.
The researchers manipulated the E. coli and used the organism's own machinery to produce propane in a renewable manner.
The team was able to identify and add essential biochemical components in order to boost the biosynthesis reaction. They enabled a specific E. coli strain to synthesize propane in large volumes.
Currently biological fuel gas sold commercially in Finland is being produced from human waste using mold bacteria.
Professor Kallio said that there is simply not enough human waste available for that kind of process. Neighboring Sweden actually purchased human excrement from abroad to produce biogas.
The propane-generating pathway discovered in Finland is able to operate in the presence of oxygen. That opens up avenues for the application of this system in cyanobacteria, a type of bacteria that are powered by solar energy and have minimal nutritional requirements.
Propane can more easily be separated and stored as a liquid than some other fuel alternatives such as hydrogen, methane or butanol, the University of Turku said in a statement.  Enditem
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