useful microbes eat electricity and produce bioplastics

useful microbes eat electricity and produce bioplastics

When we talk about microbes, all of us thinking about the bad influence and the diseases they cause, but, if you know that the microorganisms only have a negative effect on the environment and on our health, so, you surely don’t know everything about them.

It’s a surprise to tell you that useful microbes can help us in a wide range of fields whether in medicine, agriculture, industry, … etc. and our article today on recent research studies site will illustrate the role of amazing microorganisms that have the ability to eat electricity and produce bioplastics.

useful microbes eat electricity and produce bioplastics
useful microbes eat electricity and produce bioplastics

useful microbes eat electricity and produce bioplastics

In a recent study, some researchers have uncovered a new way to feed microbes on electricity to yield green and biodegradable bioplastics.

the idea of this study inspired by the engineers who use the electricity which comes from winds or sun alternately with the energy that comes from petroleum or coal.

The assistant professor of biology, Dr. Arpita Bose (at Washington University) says that the whole world depends on plastic wastes besides the petroleum-based plastic, and there are great demands to find new and appropriate methods for making bioplastics, which made them decided to work on finding new solutions to produce bioplastics with perfect features.

We must mention that the consumption of energy in the United States depends on renewable energy by 11 %, and on electricity generation by nearly 17 %

But the main drawback of renewable electricity is its storage; how can we collect and store the energy produced during the hours of sun or winds to use it in for example in the dark? So, it is important to find ways to achieve the most use of renewable energy, for this Dr. Bose added that the Bioplastics are considered an excellent way to use the extra energy which comes from the intermittent sources; because we can use them as an alternative to the batteries, and we also can use them instead of consuming this energy in making a different fuel type.

Dr. Bose also says that her laboratory is one of the first which use the microbial electrosynthesis for wrangling the polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) polymer from the electricity-eating microbes, and fortunately, the produced plastic is carbon-neutral, sustainable, and very low cost.

The first author of the study, Tahina Ranaivoarisoa, says that the biggest challenge in the new way that they present for the production of bioplastics was being in the substrate input that directly affects the cost.

Because there is a wide range of bacteria types such as (R. palustris TIE-1) which can use Carbon dioxide (CO2), the light, and the electrons from the electricity or the iron, there are many substrates which can be used in the bioplastic production.


As a conclusion, Dr. Bose says that useful microbes and this results will open new ways for the production of sustainable bioplastic, not only from energy sources on the earth but also it will extend to utilize the space exploration and situ resource on Mars and other planets


Check alsoreduce fuel consumption by nanotechnology


Yasmeen, (Bachelor degree + diploma in biochemistry) + (Master degree from the national institute of laser enhanced science in photobiology and cancer treatment)

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