Designing Microorganisms to Convert Natural Gas Liquids into Useful Products

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The National Science Foundation awarded Associate Professor Patrick Cirino more than $300,000 to study and engineer microorganisms that can metabolize hydrocarbons, including NGLs. Once the activities of the enzymes responsible for metabolizing NGLs are uncovered, Cirino and his collaborators – Ramon Gonzalez, a metabolic engineer at Rice University, and Squire Booker, a biochemist at Penn State University – will create metabolically engineered microorganisms capable of converting NGLs into a variety of valuable products.