Desert bacteria help in carbon capture paint development

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Biocoatings are a type of water-based paint that incorporate live bacteria into layers. Apart from capturing carbon, they can also act as bioreactors or biosensors.

Surrey’s creation is named 'Green Living Paint’ Crococidiopsis cubana, a bacterium that undergoes photosynthesis to produce oxygen while capturing CO2. This species is commonly found in the desert and requires little water to survive. Classified as a serious disease, it can withstand these extreme conditions.

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Dr Susie Hingley-WilsonA senior lecturer Bacteriology University of Surrey said:

„Increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially CO2, and concerns about water scarcity due to rising global temperatures, we need innovative, environmentally friendly and sustainable materials. Mechanically strong, ready-to-use bio-coatings or 'living paints,’ are usually water-intensive biobased. Reducing water consumption in processes can help meet these challenges.”

To examine suitability Crococidiopsis cubana As a biocoating, the researchers immobilized bacteria on a mechanically robust biocoating made of polymer particles in water that was completely dried before rehydration. They observed that the bacteria in the biocoating produced 0.4 g of oxygen per gram of biomass per day and captured CO2. Repeated measurements of oxygen showed no signs of decline in activity at one month.

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In contrast, another cyanobacterium commonly found in freshwater, Synechocystis sp. The researchers conducted similar experiments with the bacterium Unlike its desert counterpart, the biosphere is unable to produce oxygen within the mantle.

Simone Krings, lead author and former postdoctoral researcher Department of Microbiology University of Surrey said:

„Photosynthetic Crocodiopsis has an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme environments such as drought and after exposure to high levels of UV radiation. This makes it a potential candidate for the colonization of Mars.”

Prof Joseph KeddyProfessor of Soft Matter Physics School of Mathematics and Physics University of Surrey said:

„Our research grant from the Leverhulme Foundation made this interdisciplinary project possible. We envision our biocoding to contribute to a more sustainable future, fully aligned with our vision. I amDr. Hingley-Wilson and I are partners at the Institute for Sustainability.”

Note: Krings S, Chen Y, Keddie JL, Hingley-Wilson S. Oxygen evolution from extremophilic cyanobacteria restricted to hard biocoatings. Golotkin-Kall I, ed. Microbiol Spectr. 2023;11(5):e01870-23. Two: 10.1128/spectrum.01870-23

This article has been reprinted from the following materials. Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For more information, please contact the source cited.

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