Sunday, November 05, 2017

Briny pool bacteria can clean up and power up

Promising electrochemical technologies for cleaning wastewater are boosted by discovery of extremophilic microbes in the Red Sea.

​Warm and salty wastewater is a by-product of many industries, including oil and gas production, seafood processing and textile dyeing. KAUST researchers are exploring ways to detoxify such wastewater while simultaneously generating electricity. They are using bacteria with remarkable properties: the ability to transfer electrons outside their cells (exoelectrogenes) and the capacity to withstand extremes of temperature and salinity (extremophiles).

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Image: An outline of the MEC system being tested at KAUST. Bacteria from briny pools may be able to help clean up wastewater from industry as well as generate energy.
© 2017 Srikanth Pedireddy