When it comes to making biodiesel cheaply and efficiently enough to be commercially feasible, E. coli may prove to be "the little bacterial engine that could," say Stanford researchers.
Biodiesel can be made from plant oil or animal fat – usually the former. Used cooking oil from restaurants is common, but for biodiesel to contribute significantly to reducing fossil fuel use, there needs to be a way to mass produce it from plant-derived raw materials. The problem is that synthesizing biodiesel is complicated. That is where E. coli comes in.
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