Bacteria can aide the production of the useful material graphene, using their ability to add electrons to external surfaces!
Microbe of the episode
Microbe of the episode: Brevibacterium frigoritolerans
The trick is, it's hard to make in large quantities cheaply and easily. Sheets of carbons can be obtained from blocks of graphite, but these sheets are graphene oxide, which lack the desirable properties of graphene. Chemical methods can be used to remove the oxidation, but they are harsh and difficult. Luckily, bacteria are great at microscopic remodeling. In this study, electron-transferring bacteria are able to reduce the graphene oxide to graphene with properties almost as good as are achieved by chemical reduction.
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