Bio Friendly Bacteria

What do cheese, beer and sauerkraut have in common?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science – saying….

FERMENTATION – a process that uses bacteria to make a picnic! But what ELSE can it do?

From nail salons to ball pits, acetone and isopropanol are all around us! These chemicals make up products like antiseptics, glass, and plastic! But making them requires A LOT of fossil fuels! Can this chemical production be GREENER? 

Enter Fungmin Liew at LanzaTech in Illinois and colleagues. 

They grew bacteria that used CO2 – a greenhouse gas – as fuel! Then they programmed this pollution-eating bacteria to make isopropanol and acetone through fermentation. Now THAT’S a funky IPA! Did it work? 

YES! The bacteria produced these chemicals ninety percent of the time. That’s seventy five percent BETTER than previous studies that attempted to do the same thing. The researchers say this process can make enough chemicals for large scale production! 

Fermentation – a promising step towards an eco-friendly recipe for building materials! 

AND a recipe for a killer tailgate party! Pass the pickles, please!

Reference: Liew, F. E., Nogle, R., Abdalla, T., Rasor, B. J., Canter, C., Jensen, R. O., Wang, L., Strutz, J., Chirania, P., De Tissera, S., Mueller, A. P., Ruan, Z., Gao, A., Tran, L., Engle, N. L., Bromley, J. C., Daniell, J., Conrado, R., Tschaplinski, T. J., … Köpke, M. (2022). Carbon-negative production of acetone and isopropanol by gas fermentation at industrial pilot scale. Nature Biotechnology, 1–10.