Wisconsin Energy Institute: How Fatty Acids Could Replace Petroleum-Based Products

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
An illustration demonstrates a bacterial pathway for furan fatty acide synthesis filled with bright purple and pink colors and two animated women as helpers.
A bacterial pathway for methylated furan fatty acid synthesis. Unsaturated fatty acid chains on phospholipids are pathway substrates. An oxygen atom (red) is added to a polyunsaturated fatty acid (top right) to produce a monomethylated furan-containing fatty acid (center). Adding a SAM methyl group (white) produces a dimethylated furan fatty acid (bottom left). See illustration on the cover of Journal of Biological Chemistry. Illustration Designed by Chelea Mamott, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

You might know of fatty acids as the “good type” of fat found in fish or leafy greens, but scientists are interested in using them in place of petroleum in products like fuel and medicine. We talk with the director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) and the lead researcher to understand more about their role in bioenergy.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Natalie Guyette Producer
  • Tim Donohue Guest
  • Rachelle Lemke Guest