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Better bugs to make plastics

from MIT Technology Review

A startup that has successfully engineered bacteria to make common industrial chemicals is now using its technology to engineer organisms to make renewable fuel. OPX Biotechnologies, based in Boulder, Colo., says its strains of E. coli can be used to convert sugar to acrylic acid — a key component of paints, diapers, and adhesives — at lower costs than making it from petroleum. The bacteria-based process produces 75 percent fewer carbon-dioxide emissions than making the same amount from oil, and a single commercial plant using the process could reduce petroleum consumption by over 500,000 barrels per year. more

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