Team:Gaston Day School

Our Project

This year, our team is working on biofuel production using E. Coli. In the United States, most biofuel production comes from either corn or sugar cane. Both of these crops require arable land and pull resources from the food supply. Algae is another option, but it requires land area for growing ponds. E. Coli, on the other hand, can be grown in fermenters in a factory and do not affect the food supply or remove arable land from other productive use. E. Coli naturally produce several alcohols that can be used as biofuels, including isopropanol, isobutanol, ethanol, and sec-butanol. Unfortunately, E. Coli also has pathways that break down these alcohols when the concentration increases to prevent toxic levels from occurring. The combination of increasing the natural resistance to these alcohols as well as upregulating the production of one or more of these alcohols could make this production methods commercially viable.