E. coli turns seaweed into ethanol
A group of scientists from Berkeley has used an engineered form of the E. coli bacterium to turn sugars in seaweed into ethanol.
The breakthrough is attractive because if it could be commercialised, it would allow biofuels to be created without displacing crops or forests.
According to the report published inScience, the engineered bacteria can metabolize alginate, which is seaweed’s primary sugar constituent. Not only that, but it works without requiring heat or chemicals to pre-treat the seaweed, reducing the number of processing steps needed to create a biofuel.