FURI | Spring 2019

Metabolic Engineering of Escherichia Coli for the Production of a Biodegradable Solvent

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Ethyl lactate is a compound that has a lot of potential to be used as a biodegradable solvent but is only naturally found in small amounts in some biological products. This research aims to create a pathway in the metabolism of Escherichia coli through recombinant plasmid transformation in order to specifically produce quantities of ethyl lactate. When successful, this biological means of production will allow for ethyl lactate to become a less expensive, green alternative for more common toxic solvents currently used. Future research should further investigate and refine this production process to adapt to industry scale.

Student researcher

Abigail Jayne Jansen

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Canton, Michigan, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021