Thermotoga neapolitan, the bacterium that produces clean energy

In January 2012, we told you about the bacteriumthermotoga neapolitan, isolated for the first time at the Cnr of Pozzuoli (NA). We nicknamed it “the bacterium mangiarifiuti"For its ability to produce hydrogen starting from Organic waste. The CNR of Pozzuoli developed the first draft of a cylindrical device capable of exploiting the bacterium to produce fuel for cars and renewable electricity.

More than two years later, the search for Cnr of Pozzuoli it has undergone some evolutions and is still talked about. The study has already been published in the 'International Journal of Hydrogen Energy'And is being published on' ChemSunChem ', authoritative industry voices.

The new biotechnological method, conceived and patented by the team headed by Angelo Fontana at the research laboratories of the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council (Icb-Cnr) of Pozzuoli, is calledClf, acronym for Capnophilic Lactic Fermentationand makes use of the aforementioned bacterium Thermotoga neapolitan.

The bacterium lives and proliferates at 80 degrees in marine sulphates off the coastPhlegrean.

“The cells of the Thermotoga behave like micro reactors capable of producing hydrogen from fermentation of organic substrates, including waste material from the agri-food industry, allowing their transformation into clean energy- Fontana explains-Clf represents an unprecedented method that allows for three advantages simultaneously: the production of clean energy, the capture of carbon dioxide and the recovery of waste materials ", continues the ICB-Cnr researcher. “The metabolism of the bacterium by taking CO2 and acetic acid releases lactic acid with the complete elimination of CO2, moreover, unlike the classic autotrophic fixation mechanisms, such as photosynthesis, it does not involve synthesis of compounds of cellular metabolism. Indeed, the use of carbon dioxide stimulates the fermentation speed resulting in an improvement of hydrogen production from which it could be directly obtained electric energy

The advantages deriving from this process are intuitive: "The objective of the work currently underway is scientific, but the results now open the possibility of the industrial application of Capnophilic Lactic Fermentation, considering that for the production of lactic acid alone there is a world market estimated at approximately 1,200 million dollars in 2010 ", concludes Fontana. "There production biological of hydrogen by bacterial fermentation of organic substrates, including many waste materials, is a very hot scientific topic with great prospects for the production of energy from renewable sources.

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