E.coli bacteria can be the key to the production of cheaper biodiesel

Biodiesel currently seems the easiest solution to mankind’s dependence on fossil fuels – is very similar regarding chemical composition it is very easy to adapt to current engines.

Biodiesel can be produced either directly from plants or used cooking oil. Most vehicles powered by this fuel, whether we are talking about cars, trains or even planes, use the latter, but the problem is the lack of raw material and price.

Thus, for biodiesel to become the future solution for the depletion of fossil fuels, it is necessary that it can be extracted directly from plants. Currently, the production of biodiesel from plants, is a complicated and expensive process, and was not found any solution for large scale production of this fuel from plants, so that it can completely replace conventional fuels.

Stanford University researchers say the chemical process to produce biodiesel from plants, simplified and at reduced price is about to be completed.Last experiments made in this regard indicates that the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), very common in the digestive system of mammals and often responsible for food poisoning, could be key to the production of cheaper biodiesel from plants. E. coli can convert sugars from plants in derived fatty acids, which although similar in chemical terms, much as soap, can be excellent precursors for viable fuel.

Professor Chaitan Khosla of Stanford University tested the “power of converting sugars into fatty acid derivatives” of bacteria, to see if this is indeed the ability to turn plants into fuel. According to his study, it appears that E. coli have necessary power, processing sugars from plants indeed, into fatty acids.

The problem is that at some point, the bacteria, to protect itself, limit the transformation process. Currently, researchers are trying to find a way to “trick” bacteria, so as to produce more fatty acids. If they succeed, the resulting biodiesel will become a viable fuel, widely marketed.