Scientists grow bacteria that breathe greenhouse gases

Last Updated: July 21, 2016

The scientists at the Delft University of Technology have succeeded in the growing of special bacteria. It breathes greenhouse gases N2O, making the environment and atmosphere healthier. Greenhouse gases heat up our atmosphere, thus leading to the so-called greenhouse effect, and it is one of the today’s problem. Young researchers have developed new ways of dealing with the emissions.

A studying of the greenhouse gas emissions showed that people need to find a simple and natural way to decrease the emissions. The scientists at Delft University found the bacteria, which is breathing greenhouse gases and neutralize it in the most natural way. A researcher Monica Conthe explains:

“They are the only consumers for this aggressive greenhouse gas that we know. This is rather complex, as there are different microbial processes that can produce N2O and in some cases, the mechanism by which it is produced remain obscure.”

According to the study, since the beginning of the 20th century, when people started to use chemical fertilizers to increase crop yields, the greenhouse emissions raised significantly. Instead of using oxygen like we humans do, bacteria from the Delft lab can generate energy by “breathing” N2O. As a result of such a bioreaction, scientists got dinitrogen gas (N2), which is the natural compound of the air we breathe and a climate neutral gas. According to Conthe and the issue of N2O emissions:

“Rather than trying to avoid its production, why not focus on favoring its consumption?”