Scientists at the University of California found a new way to get gasoline from thin air. According to them, an enzyme (located in the roots of soybeans) that normally produces ammonia from nitrogen gas, is able to convert carbon monoxide into propane (a common industrial byproduct used in kitchens across America). This could be the key to vehicles that run on air.
“This organism is a very common soil bacteria that is very well understood and has been studied for a long time. But while we were studying it, we realized that the enzyme has some unusual behavior”, said Markus Ribbe, a scientist at the University of California.
The research group has also isolated one particular enzyme to convert nitrogen into ammonia. Without nitrogen oxygen, the enzyme began to turn the carbon monoxide (CO) into short chains of carbon two and three atoms long generating propane. They hope to modify the enzyme so it can produce gasoline.
The research is still at an early stage, but the scientists believe that this technique could make vehicles to be partially powered by their own gases.
[Source: Discovery News]