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Designer organisms for photosynthetic production of ethanol from carbon dioxide and water

United States Patent

July 5, 2011
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
The present invention provides a revolutionary photosynthetic ethanol production technology based on designer transgenic plants, algae, or plant cells. The designer plants, designer algae, and designer plant cells are created such that the endogenous photosynthesis regulation mechanism is tamed, and the reducing power (NADPH) and energy (ATP) acquired from the photosynthetic water splitting and proton gradient-coupled electron transport process are used for immediate synthesis of ethanol (CH.sub.3CH.sub.2OH) directly from carbon dioxide (CO.sub.2) and water (H.sub.2O). The ethanol production methods of the present invention completely eliminate the problem of recalcitrant lignocellulosics by bypassing the bottleneck problem of the biomass technology. The photosynthetic ethanol-production technology of the present invention is expected to have a much higher solar-to-ethanol energy-conversion efficiency than the current technology and could also help protect the Earth's environment from the dangerous accumulation of CO.sub.2 in the atmosphere.
Lee; James Weifu (Knoxville, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
11/ 903,919
September 25, 2007
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.