Scientists in the field of biotechnology have created a novel strain of the bacterium Clostridium that can use carbon dioxide as a carbon source to produce high-purity acetone and alcohol-isopropanol.
“Currently, fossil organic matter is used to manufacture several industrial compounds that were formerly fermented. We have shown that a combination of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and industrial exhaust gases may be converted into acetone and isopropanol with little effort “researchers wrote
Engineers from Northwestern University in Evanston, United States, lead by Professor Michael Jewitt in the field of biotechnology, have created a novel strain of bacteria that can convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into acetone and isopropanol.
Both are key ingredients in several industrial processes, including those that create solvents and antiseptics.
The bacteria Clostridium autoethanogenum found in the intestines, which can transform carbon monoxide into ethanol, serves as a starting point for the development of similar microorganisms in laboratories.
Scientists creating methods for the disposal of industrial waste are interested in this quality. There is no need for external sources of energy or nutrition if the genome of this clostridium species is altered, as proposed by Jewitt and his coworkers. This would allow the organism to take in carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and transform them into a wide range of complex organic molecules.
A “conveyor” has been developed by studying all known bacterial enzymes, which effectively transforms carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen (H2) into acetone and isopropanol (IPA). After confirming the efficacy of this enzyme cascade, researchers introduced the genes responsible for producing it into clostridia DNA.
Jewitt and his team put the bacteria to the test by hooking up a bioreactor to the flue gases from a steel mill in the United States. The bacteria were shown to actively take in carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and transform them into acetone and alcohol over the course of more than three weeks. Our production of carbon dioxide has not decreased to below pre-pandemic levels.
The scientists claim that their engineered germs are far more prolific and efficient than standard bacteria. Therefore, biotechnologists predict that they may be utilized in the not-too-distant future to treat industrial exhaust gases and generate eco-friendly acetone and isopropanol.