Bacteria-made biofuel packs higher energy density than jet fuel


As effective as fossil fuels may be, their impact on the planet cannot be overstated. Now researchers at Berkeley Lab have coaxed bacteria into directly producing a new biofuel with an energy density significantly higher than jet fuel.

The new fuel candidate molecules are known as polycyclopropanated fatty acid methyl esters (POP-FAMEs), and they’re made up of seven sets of cyclopropane rings. These are rings of three carbon atoms bonded into triangular shapes, which forces the bonds into a 60-degree angle. The strains of that sharp angle holds high potential energy that can be released during combustion.


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