(NaturalNews) An enzyme produced by a common soil bacterium may help
produce usable automobile fuel from a vehicle’s own exhaust pipe,
according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of
California and the California Institute of Technology.
bacterium in question, Azotobacter vinelandii, produces an enzyme known
as vanadium nitrogenase to remove nitrogen from the air and turn it into
ammonia. In the new study, researchers found that when the enzyme was
deprived of nitrogen and oxygen but supplied with carbon monoxide, it instead produced two-to-three-atom carbon chains of propane.
Propane is a hydrocarbon used to fuel gas stoves. Researchers believe that the enzyme could be modified to produce longer hydrocarbon chains of vehicle fuels.
this could lead to new ways to create synthetic liquid fuels if we can
make longer carbon-carbon chains," researcher Markus Ribbe said.
technology is promising because cars emit carbon monoxide from their
tailpipes, suggesting that some of those emissions could be reused to
make modern fuels more efficient. In addition, carbon monoxide can be
easily produced by removing carbon dioxide from the air and splitting off one oxygen atom.
Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are the primary cause to global warming.
hundred years of burning fossil fuels and cutting down large tracts of
forest has increased the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide content from about
280 parts per million to over 350 parts per million," writes Ervin
Laszlo in the book Quantum Shift in the Global Brain.
Siberia, an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometers, the
size of France and Germany combined, has started to melt for the first
time since it formed at the end of the last ice age 11,000 years ago."
exciting as it may sound to have cars that pull as much carbon dioxide
out of the air as they put back in, the researchers warn that industrial
applications are still a long way away. A primary obstacle is finding
ways to produce and store vanadium nitrogenase in any significant
Sources for this story include: