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U of M researchers closer to making renewable petroleum

The April 1 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry publishes University of Minnesota researchers' step toward making renewable petroleum fuels using bacteria, sunlight and dioxide.

Janice Frias, who earned her doctorate in January, successfully used a protein to transform fatty acids produced by the bacteria into ketones, which can be cracked to make hydrocarbon fuels, according to a press release.

The university is filing patents on the process.

The research is funded by a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-energy (ARPA-e) program. The U of M proposal was one of only 37 selected from 3,700 applicants for the grant.

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