The solution to the energy problem of mankindcan come from an unexpected side; bacteria of the genus Rhodopseudomonas palustris, capable of absorbing electrons from inorganic substances such as metal oxides, such as rust, can help.
Scientists from the University of Washington revealedmicroorganisms that receive electrons from inorganic compounds. According to the apt expression of researchers, the bacteria Rhodopseudomonas "feed on electrons." The scientific definition of the process taking place is the extracellular absorption of electrons associated with the binding and retention of carbon dioxide and the biochemical synthesis of organic compounds.
Selected microorganisms are distributed almost throughout the planet. The study involved a strain isolated from the rusty metal supports of a bridge located in Massachusetts.
The mechanism of the process of "eating electrons" is identicalbatteries that can cyclically discharge and recharge. First, the cell accumulates electrical potential, which is then consumed in the process of utilization of carbon dioxide. The energy for the redox reaction comes from sunlight.
The study of bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustrishelp scientists better understand the work of living cells that use light energy to support various metabolic processes. The use of similar processes can help in solving problems related to energy problems.