Reprogramming bacteria to ‘eat’ greenhouse gas waste

AIBN researchers are working on ways to improve the efficiency of biofuel and chemical manufacture while recycling waste carbon – by better understanding the gene function of bacteria.

Their aim is to use anaerobic bacteria or acetogens, which use carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow, to convert waste CO2 into useful chemicals and biofuels.

Most of the world’s chemicals are currently made from fossil fuels, but by using recycled carbon to feed bacteria, we can produce cleaner, greener chemicals and also use up the harmful gases which would usually contribute to climate change.

We are using cutting-edge automated synthetic biology to investigate exactly how all these bacteria make energy and how it can be reprogrammed to ‘eat’ greenhouse gas waste.

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