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Microbes Produce Fuels Directly from Biomass

Once E. coli have secreted oil, they sequester themselves from the droplets as shown by this optical image, thereby facilitating oil recovery.

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Microbes Produce Fuels Directly from Biomass

Electron micrograph shows rod-shaped E. coli secreting oil droplets containing biodiesel fuel, along with fatty acids and alcohol.

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Microbes Produce Fuels Directly from Biomass

Eric Steen, a bioengineer with JBEI’s Fuels Synthesis Division, was on the team led by Jay Keasling that engineered a biodiesel-producing strain of E. coli bacteria.