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Methyl Ketones: From Fragrances to Biofuels

Source: LBNL TABL, Dan Hawkes

Harrybeller_blogHarry Beller, ESD’s Bioenergy Program Head and director of JBEI’s Biofuels Pathways Department, recently led the refinement of an engineered strain of E. coli that can convert glucose into significant quantities of methyl ketones, a class of chemical compounds primarily used for fragrances and flavors, but promising as clean, green and renewable blending agents for diesel fuel.

To read more about this work, go to: 

To read about related work in recent years, go to:


Goh, E.-B., E.E.K. Baidoo, H. Burd, T.S. Lee, J.D. Keasling, and H.R. Beller (2014), Substantial improvements in methyl ketone production in E. coli and insights on the pathway from in vitro studies. Metabolic Engineering, 26, 67–76; DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2014.09.003.