Monday, February 16, 2009

Indian experts find bacteria that fixes CO2

This is potentially huge:   

by Rajiv Mani

Sadhana_RayuluALLAHABAD: In a major breakthrough that could help in the fight against global warming, a team of five Indian scientists from four institutes of the country have discovered a naturally occurring bacteria which converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into a compound found in limestone and chalk.

When used as an enzyme — biomolecules that speed up a chemical reaction — the bacteria has been found to transform CO2 into calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which can fetch minerals of economic value, said Dr Anjana Sharma from the biosciences department of RD University, Jabalpur, who was part of the Rs 98.6 lakh project sponsored by the department of biotechnology (DBT) under the Union science and technology ministry.


"The enzyme can be put to work in any situation, like in a chamber fitted inside a factory chimney through which CO2 would pass before being emitted into the atmosphere, and it would convert the greenhouse gas into calcium carbonate,’’ Dr Sadhana Rayalu, the project coordinator who is from the National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, told TOI on phone from Nagpur.

This potentially means that the bacteria — extracted from a number of places including brick kilns in Satna, Madhya Pradesh — can be used to take out CO2 from its sources of emission itself.


"Interestingly, it is nature that has come to the rescue of the human race from harmful effects of global warming. Investigators of the team have discovered as many as seven such micro-organisms that have the tendency to convert carbon dioxide into calcium carbonate at different natural locations,’’ said Sharma, who was on a visit to Allahabad.

Indian experts find bacteria to beat global heat

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