Episode Summary

Purple phototrophic bacteria could use certain kinds of wastewater, along with electric current, to produce valuable products like hydrogen without much waste!

Thanks to Dr. Ioanna Vasiliadou for her contribution!

Microbe of the episode

Streptomyces tendae 

Jesse's takeaways

Purple phototrophic bacteria can take light energy and use it to help power their metabolism. They're not dependent on it like plants, but can use light or other energy sources for their versatile metabolism.

This versatility makes them very interesting candidates for industrial biotechnology applications. These bacteria can take in various combinations of nutrients and produce a number of different valuable products, including protein-rich feed, bioplastics, and biofuels such as hydrogen gas.

Today's study shows they can also take up electrons directly to help make their biofuel production process even more environmentally sustainable.

News discussed

Purple bacteria 'batteries' turn sewage into clean energy

Journal Paper

Vasiliadou IA, Berná A, Manchon C, Melero JA, Martinez F, Esteve-Nuñez A, Puyol D. 2018. Biological and Bioelectrochemical Systems for Hydrogen Production and Carbon Fixation Using Purple Phototrophic Bacteria. Front Energy Res 6:107.

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