Scientists create bacteria that produce diesel

EXETER, United Kingdom -- A team of British scientists from Exeter University have developed a method which makes E.Coli bacteria produce a biofuel almost identical to diesel.

The discovery is considered of particular importance as the bacteria-produced diesel is a "drop-in" fuel, which requires no modification of existing engine technology in order to use it as a fuel.

Professor John Love from the University of Exeter's Biosciences department commented: "Producing a commercial biofuel that can be used without needing to modify vehicles has been the goal of this project from the outset."

Though an engine running off biodiesel will still create carbon dioxide emissions, Love said the E. Coli bacteria use carbon dioxide in the diesel-making process, leading to net-zero emissions.

Love warned against any speculation that he and his team may have discovered the magic bullet in synthetic fuel production.

"Our challenge is to increase the yield before we can go into any form of industrial production," Love said, describing that around 100 litres of bacteria would be required in order to produce just a teaspoon of diesel.

He said he hopes to implement a "pilot program" over the coming years to test the commercial viability of his new discovery.

Source: sciencedaily