The Escherichia coli, or E-coli is a common type of bacteria that lives inside the human intestine. It is generally associated with dangerous bacterial infections in food such as in meat or vegetables. But can it be a source of clean, green energy as well? It can, if the researchers at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have anything to say about it.
The researchers found a way to create butanol in large quantities by genetically modifying the metabolism of the e. coli bacteria. Why is this significant? Simply put, butanol can be an effective source of cleaner fuel for traditional internal combustion engine automobiles.
It has been proven to work with little to no modification to current combustion engine designs, making butanol more cost-effective and highly desirable.
Researchers globally have been experimenting using different methods to produce butanol fuel, including solar energy, yeasts and algae. E. coli usage represents yet another advancement in the development of alternative fuels and could pave the way for large scale distribution and adoption by consumers in the near future.