Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blocking carbon dioxide fixation in bacteria increases biofuel production

Date:
March 30, 2011
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Reducing the ability of certain bacteria to fix carbon dioxide can greatly increase their production of hydrogen gas that can be used as a biofuel, researchers report.

Reducing the ability of certain bacteria to fix carbon dioxide can greatly increase their production of hydrogen gas that can be used as a biofuel. Researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle, report their findings in the current issue of online journal mBio.

Related Articles


"Hydrogen gas is a promising transportation fuel that can be used in hydrogen fuel cells to generate an electric current with water as the only waste product," says Caroline Harwood, who conducted the study with James McKinlay. "Phototrophic bacteria, like Rhodopseudomonas palustris obtain energy from light and carbon from organic compounds during anaerobic growth. Cells can naturally produce hydrogen gas biofuel as a way of disposing of excess electrons."

Feeding these bacteria more electron rich organic compounds though, does not always produce the logically expected result of increased hydrogen production. Harwood and McKinlay analyzed metabolic functions of R. palustris grown on four different compounds to better understand what other variables might be involved.

One factor involved appears to be the Calvin cycle, a series of biochemical reactions responsible for the process known as carbon dioxide fixation. The Calvin cycle converts carbon dioxide and electrons into organic compounds. Therefore carbon dioxide-fixation and hydrogen production naturally compete for electrons.

When they tested a strain of the bacterium, which had been genetically modified to block carbon dioxide-fixation they observed an increased output of hydrogen from all four substrates.

The Calvin cycle was not the only variable affecting hydrogen production that Harwood and McKinlay identified in the paper. They also determined that the metabolic route a growth substrate took on its way to becoming a building block for making new cells also played a role.

"Our work illustrates how an understanding of bacterial metabolism and physiology can be applied to engineer microbes for the production of sustainable biofuels," says Harwood.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. B. McKinlay, C. S. Harwood. Calvin Cycle Flux, Pathway Constraints, and Substrate Oxidation State Together Determine the H2 Biofuel Yield in Photoheterotrophic Bacteria. mBio, 2011; 2 (2): e00323-10 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00323-10

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Blocking carbon dioxide fixation in bacteria increases biofuel production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330094022.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2011, March 30). Blocking carbon dioxide fixation in bacteria increases biofuel production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330094022.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Blocking carbon dioxide fixation in bacteria increases biofuel production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330094022.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins