In Brief

A plant microorganism may be able to produce fuel literally from thin air.

Scientists have discovered an enzyme found in soybeans that can convert vehicle exhaust into fuel to power cars. The enzyme, called vanadium nitrogenase, produces ammonia from nitrogen but when the nitrogen was replaced with carbon monoxide, it started making propane, generally used for heating and cooking. The scientists believe that this enzyme could be modified enough to produce gasoline and pave the way for cars that can be powered partially by their own exhausts or the surrounding air.

Discovery News: “Gasoline From Thin Air?”

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