Systems Microbiology o Microbial bioremediation of uranium Uranium (VI) is water soluble, radioactive, and toxic, and it can end up in ground water (produced by energy production and nuclear bombs) These microbes convert uranium (VI) to uranium (IV), which is insoluble, so it won’t end up in the ground water. All you need to do is add acetates and the microbes (which are already everywhere) will convert the uranium (VI), which then precipitates and falls out of the moving water. o Geobacter can use electrodes as an electron acceptor Thus allowing us to harvest power from aquatic sediments and other sources of waste organics Microbial fuel cell, powered by residual organics These aren’t very powerful, but they can run small systems How do these organisms dump electrons onto a solid? • It’s not terribly well understood • It involves the pili – they transmit electrons o Deep-sea methane hydrates are buried in sediments off of continental margins
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Microorganism, energy production, 20kJ, Deep-sea methane hydrates