Part of the show Biochemistry of Algae
Researchers at Purdue University, Indiana are designing genetically modified plants to produce oil that can be used to run cars. Plant oils, like petrol and diesel, consist of chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms - hence the name hydrocarbons. Plant oils usually consist of carbon chains 15 atoms long and luckily diesel oil is also 15 carbons long so the research team, led by Professor Bernie Tao, believes that it will soon be able to produce a plant-based diesel substitute. They then hope to start working on one for petrol too.