Scientists closer to developing renewable propane

April 27, 2015 By    

Researchers at the University of Manchester say they have made a breakthrough in the development of synthetic pathways that will allow the renewable biosynthesis of propane. This discovery brings scientists closer to developing renewable propane.

The University of Manchester scientists say propane has good physiochemical properties that allow it to be stored and transported in a compressed liquid form. Under ambient conditions, propane serves as a clean-burning gas, which makes it an attractive target to become a renewable alternative to petroleum.

While natural metabolic pathways for the renewable biosynthesis of propane do not exist, scientists at the University of Manchester developed an alternative microbial biosynthetic pathway to produce renewable propane. The University of Manchester team modified existing fermentative butanol pathways using an engineered enzyme variant to redirect the microbial pathway to produce propane as opposed to butanol. The team was able to achieve propane biosynthesis, creating a platform for next-generation microbial propane production.

Read more about the study here.

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