Biodiesel promises a renewable source of energy yet is unable to be an
economically viable alternative to petroleum. One way to solve this is to
convert glycerol, a by-product of the biodiesel production process, to higher
value commodities. Shewanella oneidensis can respire insoluble extracellular
substrates such as electrodes. Furthermore, when the pGUT2PET plasmid is
transformed into wild type S. oneidensis, the non-redox balanced conversion
of glycerol to ethanol is permitted. This engineered bacterium permits the generation of two higher value
products (ethanol and electricity) from the original glycerol feedstock. Since
any future industrial application of this microbe will necessitate optimization
of all its parameters, we were interested in studying how S. oneidensis grows
faster on glycerol.
Additional contributors: Jeff Flynn; Dan Ross; Jeffrey A. Gralnick.
This research is supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Analysis of a Genetic Adaptation for Glycerol Utilization: Implications for Microbial Fuel Cells.
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