A new study conducted at the University of Washington explains the cellular processes that the sun's microbes love electric power "eats". It transfers electrons to promote carbon dioxide to boost its growth.
Arpita Bose is the Assistant Professor of Art and Science Biology and her PhD in Laboratory Michael Guzman, a group of University of Washington, has shown how it happens naturally. Rhodopseudomonas palustris Electrons, such as metallic oxides or rust, are derived from conductive substances. The work is described in the book of March 22 Nature Communications.
The study is based on the previous discovery of Bose R. palustris TIE-1 electrons can be consumed as rust-proxy, like electrodes, like the process called extracellular electron uptake. R. palustris is a phototropic one, that is, it uses energy of light to make some metabolic processes. The new research explains the sink cell that throws electrons that eject the electron.
"It clearly shows, first and foremost, that this activity – that the body's power of eating electricity is connected to carbon dioxide stabilization," said Bose, a Fellow Packard, who studies the microbial metabolism and their impact on biochemical cycling.
This mechanical knowledge can help the microbes to take advantage of sustainable energy storage or other bioenergy to make the most of the natural capacity of the applications – the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense has received the potential.
"R. palustris "Teas-1" can be found in exotic solitary places such as the RIE bridge that is located in Woods Hole (Massachusetts), "said Bose." Actually, you can find these organizations everywhere. This suggests that the use of external cellular electron consumption is very common. "
Guzmán added: "The main challenge is that it is a anaerobe, so that it grows in an environment that does not have an oxygen-free energy source to create clear energy, but the template is in favor of these challenges. There is a great deal of variability in this organism that does not have other organisms" .
In their new paper, researchers have shown that electrons in electricity are important for membrane proteins. Surprisingly, when the ability to fix carbon monoxide dioxide was eliminated, the power consumption capacity decreased by 90%.
"He really wants to use this carbon dioxide system," said Bose. "If you get rid of it, this natural capability is not to take electrons."
The reaction has been said to be similar to a rechargeable battery.
"Microbial uses electricity to redox the pool, with electrons being stored and greatly reduced," said Bose. "To download, the cell reduces carbon dioxide, which is the energy of the sun, the whole process continues to repeat itself, not only for cellular electricity, carbon dioxide, and sunlight."
A team from Washington University overcame the technical difficulties of completing this study. McKelvey Engineering School, Mark Meacham, has helped researchers investigate and manufacture bacteria fueled by electrical sources in the ongoing research. The team helped David Fike, among others, in the Earth and planet science department. Bose and Guzman helped to use secondary ion mass spectrometry to determine how microbial carbon dioxide is used.
The new research offers answers to basic science questions and offers a variety of options for future bioenergy applications.
"For a long time people have learned that microbes can interact with environmental-like electrodes, that is, charged minerals," said Guzmán. "But nobody really appreciated how this process could be made by photoautotrophs, such as those organisms that use their carbon and energy-generating energy, which does not understand the gap in space."
Bose Laboratory is working to use these microbials to make bioplastics and biofuels.
"We hope that carbon dioxide reduction will help to find sustainable solutions to the energy crisis," said Bose.