Highlight: Biochemists discover that enzyme converts CO to propane

Aug 06, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- UC Irvine researchers were exploring vanadium nitrogenase's ability to form ammonia when they stumbled onto its other ability, which could be exploited for the cost-efficient production of fuels.

UC Irvine researchers have discovered that a can convert harmful into propane, which is used as a fuel for engines, barbecues and residential heating.

Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry scientists were exploring vanadium nitrogenase's ability to form when they stumbled onto its other ability.

Associate Professor Markus Ribbe said the enzyme is found in bacteria in soil and plant roots, as well as industrial emissions, and could possibly be exploited for the cost-efficient production of fuels.

"The idea is that we could use this enzyme to generate energy sources like propane," he said. "There's a long way to go, but it's quite exciting."

The finding is reported in the Aug. 6 issue of Science.

Explore further: Structure of sodium channels different than previously believed

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User comments : 2

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Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2010
If this can be coupled with PETE/STEP processes through CO2 extraction and splitting, it could be another big step in the right direction. Good work.
htomfields
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2010
On a similar note--Xtreme Xylanase. The metabolic versatility of this enzyme will enable economic enzyme production, biomass pretreatment process versatility, and significant equipment and operational cost savings that could make affordable cellulosic ethanol a reality.

http://www.inl.go...xlanase/

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