Bugs can help trap underground carbon dioxideFebruary 24th, 2012 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 24 (IANS) In both the novel and movies versions of “The War of the Worlds”, bugs save the earth, while aliens succumb to infections to which humans have developed immunity through evolution.
If a team of researchers at Lawrence Berkley National Lab’s Center for nanoscale control of geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) has its way, bugs could help prevent global destruction for real by trapping underground CO2, that threatens our climate.
Among the methods being considered for removing excess CO2 from power stations is transporting the gas into porous rock deep underground. There, it can mineralize with cations or positively charged atoms to form solid carbonate minerals and become permanently trapped.
This mineralization process, however, is extremely slow, sometimes taking hundreds to thousands of years. Bacteria, the researchers predicted, might help speed things up, according to a Lawrence Lab statement.
“Previous studies have shown that underground bacteria remain in the rock after CO2 injection. We know these microbes can impact how minerals form, leading us to wonder if they also affect the rate of mineralization,” says NCGC biochemist Jenny Cappuccio.
“And if bacteria could enhance the nucleation of carbonate minerals, then perhaps we could fine-tune that ability in the laboratory,” adds Cappuccio.
These findings will be presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society (BPS) in San Diego, California on from February 25-29.
- Bacterial chats limit carbon absorption by sea - Oct 13, 2011
- 'Bolt from deep blue' may have sparked life on Earth - Oct 30, 2010
- Did bacteria make a clean sweep of BP oil spill? - Aug 27, 2010
- Sound raises hope trapped Chinese miners still alive - Aug 29, 2011
- Scientists fashion first ever 'cyborg' tissues - Aug 27, 2012
- Nine miners trapped in Peru may be rescued soon - Apr 11, 2012
- New blue light nanocrystals could play role in long-term storage of CO2 - Jul 22, 2009
- 28 still trapped in coal mine in China (Lead) - Jul 07, 2011
- Bacterial growth could reveal Earth's origins - May 18, 2010
- Diamond is million times harder than thought - Jan 27, 2010
- Death toll from China's coal mine accident reaches 31 - Oct 18, 2010
- Bugs made world's biggest oil slick disappear fast - Aug 02, 2011
- Death toll from Central China's mine accident reaches 26 - Oct 17, 2010
- Could ozone from rocks warn us of impending quakes? - Nov 18, 2011
- Vitamin B12 imaged in action for first time - Mar 27, 2012
Tags: aliens, atoms, bacteria, berkley, biochemist, biophysical society, bps, cappuccio, carbon dioxide, carbonate minerals, cations, global destruction, immunity, jenny, microbes, nucleation, porous rock, s center, san diego california, war of the worlds