While it has long been known that plant matter has the potential to produce renewable fuels, doing so efficiently and inexpensively has turned out to be a difficult roadblock to overcome.

However, E. coli—bioengineered by scientists from Sandia National Laboratories—could make it economically feasible to produce jet fuel, as well as other materials like plastics, nylon, pharmaceuticals and other products from lignin, an organic polymer that helps form the tissues of vascular plants.

Sandia bioengineer Seema Singh said in an interview with R&D Magazine that the new process could be a boon for industries looking for cheaper renewable fuels.

Read all about it here.