Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have clinched a $50,000 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize to improve carbohydrate-to-biodiesel technology. The winning project, which uses an engineered microbe to boost yields, also may support the direct conversion of hydrogen and carbon dioxide into alternative fuels. The process may be applied to a range of carbohydrate feedstocks such as sugars, glucose, glycerin, hydrolysates from biomass and algae, lead researcher Gregory Stephanopoulos said.

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