WASHINGTON — Escherichia coli – E. coli for short – is often identified as a bacterium that contributes to food borne illness. But research led by a
scientist has discovered ways to use a safe, non-pathogenic E. coli to convert glycerine into high value fuels and chemicals, according to a press release.
Dr. Ramon Gonzalez, William W. Akers Assistant Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, received the 2010 Glycerine Innovation Award during the Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists'' Society (AOCS), the release stated.
Dr. Gonzalez and his team of researchers identified the metabolic processes and conditions that allow a known strain of E. coli to convert glycerine into ethanol, the release noted.
According to the release, Gonzalez''s team created a new version of the bacterium that produces up to 100 times more succinate, a high-demand chemical feedstock that’s used to make everything from noncorrosive airport deicers and nontoxic solvents to plastics, drugs and food additives.
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