Diesel fuel from sunlight and CO2

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Even a waste of greenhouse gases can be used to make alternative fuel of diesel engines. Scientists from the University of Minnesota uses two types of bacteria to make hydrocarbons from sunlight and carbon dioxide to make renewable petroleum.

Scientists use type of photosynthetic bacterium (Synechococcus) and Shewanella bacterium. The first process performed by the bacterium Synechococcus that will fixes carbon dioxide in sunlight, then convert it into sugar. Shewanella bacterium will consume sugar produced to be converted into fatty acids.

Researchers using the protein to change the acid into the type of organic compounds called "ketones". Catalytic technology allows them to convert ketones into diesel fuel. This is very nice to use the main greenhouse gas of CO2 to be used again as fuel. The research results will soon be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and its now filing patents process.

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Manuwoto said...

Very interesting. How far will it be to get to the point of mass productio? What would be the factors that might impeding the mass production?

Dal said...

I guess that there are a lot of development issues that still need to be addressed. For one, pH control - CO2 becomes carbonic acid in water. Methinks this has two effects - one it will limit bacterial activity, two it will eat up the holding tanks and piping.

Dal said...

I guess that pH control will be an issue. CO2 in water becomes carbonic acid. This leads to two problems - bacteria generally aren't fans of low pH and the holding tank and piping may get eaten up by acid.

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