A 'Rushing Fireball': Microorganism Could Turn Carbon Dioxide To Biofuel
Researchers at the University of Georgia have created a microorganism capable of absorbing excess carbon dioxide and potentially aiding the development of biofuels made directly from the harmful gas.
The microorganism is called Pyrococcus furiosus, or "rushing fireball." The rushing fireball absorbs carbohydrates in super-heated parts of the ocean that are in close proximity to geothermal vents. In conducting its study, the team of researchers created a variation of the microorganism that is able to absorb carbon dioxide at much lower temperatures.
The next step in the process was generating a chemical reaction in Pyrococcus furiosus using hydrogen. The reaction turns carbon dioxide into 3-hydroxypropionic acid, a frequently used industrial chemical. The scientists theorize that further research could lead to a version of the microorganism that can take carbon dioxide and turn it into biofuel.
"Basically, what we have done is create a microorganism that does with carbon dioxide exactly what plants do — absorb it and generate something useful," says study co-author Michael Adams, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Georgia's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
"What this discovery means is that we can remove plants as the middleman," Adams says. "We can take carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into useful products like fuels and chemicals without having to go through the inefficient process of growing plants and extracting sugars from biomass."
And perhaps best of all, the process is carbon neutral, since the Pyrococcus furiosus absorbs as much carbon dioxide as it expels.
"This is an important first step that has great promise as an efficient and cost-effective method of producing fuels," Adams says. "In the future we will refine the process and begin testing it on larger scales."
The study is published in the March 25 edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.
On Tuesday we learned about another clean energy breakthrough with a new study on bacteria being used for bio-batteries. You can check it out here.
Drinking Problem More Likely In Those Who Are Depressed
Depression can lead to many things. Problem drinking is more likely in those who are depressed, as a study shows.
How Does Carbon Dioxide Look In The Atmoshpere? NASA Releases 3D Video
NASA's 3D visualization will help scientists answer climate questions.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Is A Carbon-Tax-Backing Climate Change Believer
Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump‘s nominee for Secretary of State, is the CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil Corporation. Tillerson supported a carbon-tax-backing, but has also suggested that environmentalists are overreacting.
Climate Change: Methane Levels In The Atmosphere Are Rising
Methane is more difficult to tackle than CO2, scientists say, and it also drives more potent greenhouse effect.
Here’s What Weather In Venus Must Be Like
Venus and the Earth are alike in some ways, but mostly they are different. Here's what weather in Venus must be like, in that it has one of the most extreme climates in the solar system.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
'Tokyo Ghoul' Season 3 Delayed By Its Live-Action Movie? Ken Kenaki Returns With Another Identity?
"Tokyo Ghoul" season 3's release is delayed and there are countless speculations as to why it is being pushed back. Reports claim that the show is to give way to "One Punch Man" and "My Hero Acdemia" but new rumors say that it's lack of materials and storyline as well as its live-action movie are causing the delay.
Overwatch Latest News: Blizzard Releases Doomfist Progression Update On PTR
The latest Overwatch news indicates that Blizzard has just released the Doomfist Progression update on PTR. Among other things, new cosmetics will be added to this new character.
'Dragon Ball Super' Spoilers: Android 18 Vs Frost? Krillin Disqualified, Angels Hinted To Be Villains
Latest updates and spoilers for "Dragon Ball Super" reveal that Android 18 will be going against Frost. Meanwhile, it seems like the angels are scheming something behind the Tournament of Power.