Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

E. Coli: the source of the 'next biofuel'

Jan 2008

Scientists have genetically engineered E. coli that is highly efficient in producing butanol, a promising new type of biofuel.

This new technology could speed up the development of butanol biofuels into a cost-effective alternative to ethanol.

"It [butanol] has many attractive properties," says Jim McMillan, manager of biorefining process R&D at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Bioenergy Center, in Golden, CO. Because butanol packs more energy per gallon than ethanol does, cars running on butanol get better mileage. And, unlike ethanol, it doesn't mix with water, so it can be shipped in existing petroleum pipelines without causing problems.

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