Scientists turn toxic byproduct into biofuel booster

Read the full story in Biomass Magazine.

Scientists studying an enzyme that naturally produces alkanes—long carbon-chain molecules that could be a direct replacement for the hydrocarbons in gasoline—have figured out why the natural reaction typically stops after three to five cycles. Armed with that knowledge, they’ve devised a strategy to keep the reaction going. The biochemical details—worked out at the U.S. DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of February 4, 2013—renew interest in using the enzyme in bacteria, algae, or plants to produce biofuels that need no further processing.

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