E.coli could be the key to combatting global warming. Scientists have discovered a way to use E.coli to store and recycle carbon dioxide, which could help reduce the presence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Scientists at the University of Dundee have discovered that E. coli bacteria could hold the key to an efficient method of capturing and storing or recycling carbon dioxide.
Cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to slow down and even reverse global warming has been posited as humankind’s greatest challenge. It is a goal that is subject to considerable political and societal hurdles, but it also remains a technological challenge.
New ways of capturing and storing CO2 will be needed. Now, normally harmless gut bacteria have been shown to have the ability to play a crucial role.
Professor Frank Sargent and colleagues at the University of Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, working with local industry partners Sasol UK and Ingenza Ltd, have developed a process that enables the E. coli bacterium to act as a very efficient carbon capture device.
Professor Sargent said, “Reducing carbon dioxide emissions will require a basket of different solutions and nature offers some exciting options. Microscopic, single-celled bacteria are used to living in extreme environments and often perform chemical reactions that plants and animals cannot do.