News & Events
Scientists have helped bacteria convert CO2 to useful chemicals
- December 16, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Bacteria are quite widely known for living in very dangerous conditions – being excellent in terms of adaptation, they, however, are not immortal. That is why experts from the University of California decided to find a way to further protect bacteria from external threats and factors. Of course, not just like that, but with a very definite purpose – the fact is that they were looking for a way to make bacteria of some microorganisms something like an artificial system for creating chemical compounds useful in industry. Thus, to create sustainable biogybrids, experts have developed special “protective capsules” for their body.
Capsules are organometallic structures that cover the body of bacteria – in addition, this structure is one of the most dense and large in coverage area, where one gram covers the average football field in the micromolecular sense. This property allows you to effectively protect bacteria from various environmental threats – in particular, from oxygen. The main idea of scientists was to “feed” bacteria with carbon dioxide by absorbing sunlight – taken on the structure of the capsule – and get full chemicals and elements needed in industrial production at the output.
They chose Morella thermoacetica and Sporomusa ovata bacteria as the main candidates, both of which are anaerobic – that is, they do not use oxygen for respiration, namely carbon dioxide. Specialists also added cadmium during CO2-feeding, which ultimately allowed them to obtain even more of this substance and some of its derivatives.
Such a model of using bacteria as artificial biogybrids producing useful compounds was liked by other researchers in the field of molecular chemistry, and therefore at the moment it continues to be developed and overgrown with new aspects. Experts are sure that soon the models will find the finished version and will form the basis of new technological processes, which will be further strengthened.