The so-called “greenhouse effect” plays a bigrole in the evolution of life on our planet. Greenhouse gases, which are part of the Earth’s atmosphere, practically do not pass thermal radiation, thereby creating a number of problems that cause climate change. Excessive heating of the atmosphere caused by human impact on the environment leads to global warming, which can gradually turn our planet into a place very similar to Venus. In order to prevent such an unpleasant conversion, scientists have found a way to convert greenhouse gases into useful chemical compounds using Escherichia coli bacteria.
What are greenhouse gases?
Earth's atmosphere protecting our planet fromharmful solar radiation and giving living things the opportunity to breathe, contains a huge variety of gases, among which methane, ozone, water vapor and carbon dioxide occupy a special place. A mixture of these gases retains solar heat, thereby maintaining a favorable climate for living creatures on the surface of the planet. However, according to recent research by scientists, the concentration of greenhouse gases is now significantly higher than ever in the past 800,000 years. Greenhouse gases, in addition to climate change, affect the development of respiratory diseases due to rising levels of air pollution. In the future, a changing climate may lead to large-scale extinction of some animal species.
There are several types of greenhouse gases,significantly affecting the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide is one of the representatives of greenhouse gases, which account for about 64% of environmental changes associated with global warming. The main source of carbon dioxide is the oil, refining and gas industries.
See also: Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by satellites to search for their sources.
The latest technique is based on the use ofa human enzyme that turns monocarbon compounds into more complex ones. Scientists make changes in the structure of DNA of rod-shaped bacteria Escherichia coli, using a modified enzyme. After all the modifications, Escherichia coli is introduced into the feedstock, which is most often used methanol, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and methane. Ultimately, a metabolic bioconversion process begins in the feedstock, during which the molecules turn into more complex compounds.
For oil producers, this discovery maybe a tempting and cost-effective method for processing carbon dioxide, because the complex compounds formed during the bioconversion process can be used in the manufacture of plastics, cosmetics and polymers. Scientists consider the result a breakthrough in the biological conversion of carbon dioxide, due to which it can turn out to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the extraction of crude oil.
Introducing new technology, the oil industrycould significantly reduce the environmental impact. Until now, the vast majority of oil companies use the method of burning the gas released during oil production. Many people believe that this method is wasteful and ineffective, and also leads to the emission of excess unburned methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, formed during the combustion process.
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At the moment, scientists are working on the implementation ofthe latest bioconversion technology not only in the private sector, but also in the entire oil refining industry as a whole, which will subsequently have a significant impact on the environment and help reduce the impact on the Earth’s atmosphere.