Oil-Eating Bacteria

December 14, 2007 at 6:53 am 2 comments

Researchers have worked out how natural bacteria deep within the Earth break down crude oil and produce methane. This knowledge could help with projects to encourage these bacteria to covert more oil, faster. And it could point towards a way to produce hydrogen — an even cleaner fuel — by using these natural fuel-processing plants.”

http://www.nature.com/news/2007/071212/full/news.2007.375.html

Enjoy the break, everyone.

-Jordan

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Jatropha and Microalgae as Biodiesel Feedstocks Geoengineering – Pollution to save the world

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan  |  January 18, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Jordan has turned into our ace reporter with all of these articles. Way to go, man.

    But, let’s see. Your last post was about BIOlogical sources of energy. This post is about BIOremediation. Am I going to have change the name of our group again? Are we turning into the Green Biology Project?

    Reply
  • 2. Alan  |  January 18, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Hey, thinking some more about all of these green BIO projects …

    A couple of years back, an o chem student tested an experiment for me: it involved using baker’s yeast to reduce a ketone to an alcohol. In other words, the overall transformation is identical to NaBH4 reduction (part of the Chem 202 syllabus for many years), but with one twist: baker’s yeast gives only one ENANTIOmer of the alcohol. Cool, huh?

    So why haven’t we incorporated this experiment into the syllabus?
    1. We already have a ketone reduction experiment.
    2. Enzymes in the yeast catalyze the reaction, but you need to feed SUGAR to the yeast to drive the reaction forward. A LOT OF SUGAR. So the yeast-catalyzed reduction actually looks more wasteful than the NaBH4 version (but it may not be less wasteful; can you guess why?)
    3. Our polarimeter is broken so we don’t have an easy way to show that the product is enriched in one enantiomer.

    That said, I would still like to do a biocatalytic reaction in o chem lab. Any ideas?
    Alan

    Reply

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