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Scientists have learned to produce oil from E. coli

The research was carried out against the backdrop of a general trend towards finding a complete replacement for oil in order to completely abandon the internal combustion engine. But, as noted, not all fossil hydrocarbons are used for fuel. They are needed by the production of plastics, lubricants, medical products, etc. Therefore, oil will still be needed, but fossil or synthesized – this is the purpose of the study.

Scientists have modified E. coli with proteins from other bacteria that cause periodontitis in humans. The modified bacteria, without significant damage to their own metabolism, were able to process about 8% of glucose into two fatty acids – 3-hydroxyoctanoic and 3-hydroxydecanoic – myrmikacin. These molecules, in turn, are quite easily converted into heptene and nonene – acyclic unsaturated hydrocarbons, or alkenes, from which one can create a full-fledged replacement for oil in industry. Alkenes can easily be used to obtain almost all the required long-chain and short-chain hydrocarbons with properly designed chemical processes. And of them – fuel for internal combustion engines, not based on oil, technical lubricants and other “fuels and lubricants”, plastics, etc.

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