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UC Berkeley researchers using nonphotosynthetic bacterium to produce chemicals from CO2

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 7:14pm

In California, photosynthesis provides energy for the vast majority of life on Earth. But chlorophyll, the green pigment that plants use to harvest sunlight, is relatively inefficient. To enable humans to capture more of the sun’s energy than natural photosynthesis can, scientists have taught bacteria to cover themselves in tiny, highly efficient solar panels to produce useful compounds.

Researchers the University of California, Berkeley are focusing on harnessing inorganic semiconductors that can capture sunlight to organisms such as bacteria that can then use the energy to produce useful chemicals from carbon dioxide and water. They work with a naturally occurring, nonphotosynthetic bacterium, Moorella thermoacetica, which, as part of its normal respiration, produces acetic acid from carbon dioxide (CO2). Acetic acid is a versatile chemical that can be readily upgraded to a number of fuels, polymers, pharmaceuticals and commodity chemicals through complementary, genetically engineered bacteria.

Categories: Today's News

US Embassy in Argentina working with local authorities on biodiesel

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 7:13pm

In Argentina, continuing the Trump administration’s tradition of vague tweets, the charge d’affaires of the US Embassy in Buenos Aires said in a tweet that following a meeting with the country’s Foreign Minister and Production Minister that the two nations will work together on issues regarding biodiesel and agriculture. The announcement came days after the Department of Commerce slapped 64% import tariffs on Argentine biodiesel that will bring biofuel trade to a halt between the two countries.

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