CO2-eating bacteria produce fuel.
With fossil fuels depleting at a rate much more than predicted, researchers in different parts of the globe are working on means to generate alternative fuel from sources as small as bacteria. A team from researchers from US has genetically modified bacteria to eat carbon dioxide and produce isobutyraldehyde, which can further be used to produce isobutanol.
The modified bacteria are highly efficient in the conversion process and are powered by sunlight. Cyanobacteria and microalgae have been identified to consume CO2 for a long time. However previous researches on using them to produce fuel as an output haven’t been fruitful.
The US research team was successful in genetically modifying bacteria to produce fuel using a process that is around 10 times faster than hydrogen production and about 100 times faster than genetically engineered ethanol production.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Researchers from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs found detectable levels of microcystin, a toxin produced by several common species of cyanobacteria, in 68 percent of a sample of Indiana lakes and reservoirs.
That’s higher than twice the rate at which microcystin was found in a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The national survey found microcystins in 32 percent of lakes and reservoirs.
Mats of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) cover Palestine Lake in Kosciusko County, Ind., in this photo from August 2007.
The SPEA team, led by Professor Bill Jones, was contracted by the EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to conduct the sampling of 50 Indiana lakes. Samples were sent to a variety of laboratories around the country for analysis.
The Indiana sampling was conducted in the summer of 2007 as part of the National Lakes Assessment (NLA), a survey of the nation’s lakes undertaken by the EPA. The study sampled more than 1,000 lakes and reservoirs more than 10 acres in size to get an unbiased, statistically relevant snapshot of water quality in lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. The EPA recently released the results. Continue reading
Algae can be converted into a hydrogen source through the method of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a plants ability to convert solar energy and turn it into something else. A scientist by the name of Barry Bruce, who is a professor at UT Knoxville, has discovered when using photosynthesis with a certain type of algae and a catalyst method with platinum, that hydrogen was produced when that algae was exposed to light.
Barry Bruce is head of a team of researchers that work on these findings from UT Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They are researching this to create a solution for a natural fuel for the possibility of even using it in vehicles. Continue reading
MEDFORD — Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, the state Department of Human Services has lifted a health advisory for Lost Creek Lake.
The agency issued the advisory earlier this month because of high algae levels in the popular lake northeast of Medford.
It is the fourth consecutive year an algae bloom has hit Lost Creek Lake, which is owned and managed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The lifting of the advisory is good news for businesses that make their money from the swimmers, water-skiers and anglers who use the lake that consistently ranks among the state’s busiest.
— The Associated Press
TRAIL, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is trying to get a health advisory lifted at a popular reservoir before the start of the Fourth of July weekend.
Tests this week on water samples collected Friday could prompt state health officials to quicken the lifting of their advisory against contact with water at Lost Creek Lake, northeast of Medford. Continue reading
Cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton blooms have apparently increased as predicted since introduction of grass carp into Devils Lake. But it is not clear is that these blooms pose serious health risks to lake users. American mythology is full of stories about illness and death from “bad water.” Medical literature repeats warnings about exposure to cyanobacteria toxin. However, in current literature there is a paucity of reports of human illness caused by exposure to these toxins in aquatic recreational venues. This is not because most recreational lakes are free of blue-green algae. More than 15 Oregon aquatic venues, including heavily used Detroit Lake and Clackamas River, posted cyanobacteria advisories in the last couple of years.
From the Newport News-Times
June 10, 2009
Water district creates communications committee of volunteers.
After three hours of energetic testimony in opposition to SolarBees from nearly 50 community members in attendance at the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) board meeting Thursday , the board voted unanimously to put the project on hold, at least for now.