FURI | Summer 2022

Engineering of a Microbe for the Sustainable Production of Environmentally Friendly Solvents

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Due to the growing concerns of petroleum and its negative effects, alternative solvents like ethyl lactate are sought out to replace common petroleum-based solvents. Ethyl lactate, a naturally biodegradable ethyl ester of lactic acid, is a common solvent used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and food production. To provide a sustainable method of production of ethyl lactate, this project engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum’s metabolic pathway to produce ethyl lactate from cell media. Plasmids with genes containing enzymes that produce ethyl lactate were constructed through established cloning protocols and transformed into C. glutamicum, and colony PCR was conducted to verify the presence of the genes.

Student researcher

Amogh Deshpande

Amogh J. Deshpande

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Chandler, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2023