Genetic Engineering for Creating Biofuels

Scott Banta has received a new 2-year, $543,394 APRA-E grant from the Department of Energy to launch new research on using genetic engineering to create less expensive, more efficient biofuels.

On this project, Banta is working with two co-principal investigators: Kartik Chandran, an assistant professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Alan West, professor of Chemical Engineering.

The project will focus on engineering an ammonia-oxidizing bacteria that is used in wastewater treatment to create isobutanol, which is a biofuel that is already compatible with the existing transportation infrastructure.  The cells will fix CO2 making the process carbon neutral, and the ammonia required by the cells can come from wastewater treatment or it can be generated from electricity that can be obtained from renewable sources.

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