By San Francisco Business Times

Biofuel business LS9 Inc. published a paper in the journal Science detailing its discovery of genes that make important components of gasoline and other fuels directly from sugar.

⿿This discovery is the first description of the genes responsible for alkane biosynthesis and the first example of a single step conversion of sugar to fuel-grade alkanes by an engineered microorganism⿝ the South San Francisco company said.

Trusty Escherichia coli, the ubiquitous bacterial equivalent of white lab rats, were modified to convert the sugars in a pilot scale experiment.

Scientists have sought these genes for 20 years, the company said, calling the work ⿿a major scientific breakthrough.⿝

LS9 believes this direct, ⿿one step⿝ process will be cheaper and better than other biofuel processes its rivals are working on, since they ⿿require costly and energy intense chemical conversion technologies.⿝

Bill Haywood is LS9â¿¿s CEO.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010