This Enzyme May Make Oil Burn Cleaner

Pending Clean Air Act amendments are pushing oil companies to reduce sulfur in refined petroleum products, the villain behind acid rain and smog. Conventional methods using inorganic catalysts are costly because they require high temperature and pressure. So Texaco Inc. is working with four-year-old, Houston-based Energy BioSystems Corp. on a way to sweeten--or desulfurize--oil before it reaches refineries. The sweetener is an enzyme that the bacterium Rhodococcus rhodochrous evolved to survive in the soil around coal deposits.

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