Deep-Sea Bacteria Could Help Neutralize Carbon Emissions

Posted: Oct 23 2015, 7:48am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 23 2015, 8:10am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Bacteria in the Deep Sea Could Help Neutralize Greenhouse Gas
Deep-sea bacteria could help neutralize greenhouse gas. Credit: Image courtesy of University of Florida
  • Deep Blue Sea Bacteria could make Toxic Gases Benign

The manifold bacteria in the deep blue sea could make toxic gases benign via their action.

There is a certain bacterium taken from the many small microscopic creatures on the ocean floor that could neutralize greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide is a big contributor to the phenomenon of global warming.

But these bacteria can neutralize its effects via a process known as sequestration. Carbon dioxide is often the result of igniting fossil fuels. The emerging flue gas can wreak havoc on the atmosphere. Conversion of carbon dioxide into a benign material requires a temperature-tolerant enzyme.

Here the bacteria come in handy. They generate carbonic anhydrase. This aids in the removal of carbon dioxide from various living beings. But what is the really good thing about this bacteria is that it is found in close proximity to hydrothermal vents.

Thus it is acclimatized to extremes of temperature. This allows the enzyme to act in an efficient manner. The bacteria is ideally suited to getting the job done. Sequesteration occurs in a certain way.

The enzyme catalyzes a reaction between carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide mixes with the enzyme to create carbonate in the process. This then undergoes further decomposition into baking soda and chalk.

Thus the carbonic anhydrase could be fixated this way. But for this process to be practical on an industrial level large amounts of the enzyme are required. The enzyme can be created in a lab via E.coli bacteria.

The enzyme however is not as efficient as scientists would like it to be. It can be improved upon with slight modifications in the lab. Further research needs to be carried out before the process can be applied in real life and on a large scale.

The name of the bacteria is Thiomicrospira crunogena. As far as the production of the enzyme in bulk is concerned, it is a tall order alright. Much needs to be streamlined in order for the experiment to be feasible in the real world.

As global warming and pollution become rampant, the means of combating these evils will also multiply. Mankind will be fighting tooth and nail in order to preserve the environment from the devastating effects of greenhouse gases and industrial civilization.

The only way out is through though. We cannot escape to another planet nor can we forgo our struggle for existence. Ultimately, a sustainable earth is the goal for the long term future.

This study was published recently in the journals Acta Crystallographica D: Biological Crystallography and Chemical Engineering Science.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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