Science & Tech

Bacteria buried under the Earth turns common element into crystals

Bacteria buried under the Earth turns common element into crystals
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Money Talks News / VideoElephant

Scientists have discovered bacteria that can convert carbon dioxide to crystals under extreme levels of pressure, and the implications for the climate crisis could be huge.

Experts have found a bacterium that can turn the greenhouse into a solid when put under extreme conditions and, theoretically at least, it could change the future.

Expert researchers at Soeder Geoscience LLC and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have been on the hunt to find bacteria that could be used in such a way, via New Scientist.

One was the Bacillus bacteria species which was located 1,250 meters (4,100 feet) under the ground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. There was also the Geobacillus species and Persephonella marina which can survive at up to 110 degrees centigrade and can be put under very high pressure.

Research presented at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco at the end of last year showed that they were then tested, with experts hoping to find bacteria that could withstand the kind of atmosphere you’d normally find under oilfields.

During their testing, they found that the bacteria could convert carbon dioxide to crystals at huge levels of pressure and the tests showed that crystals could be created within the space of 10 days – all down to the carbonic anhydrase enzyme that accelerates the reaction between carbon dioxide and water.

The theory is that the crystallised carbon dioxide which is captured by the bacteria could then be stored in the voids left behind after oil fields have been used up, but it remains a theory for now.

It comes after scientists made an astonishing discovery that suggests bacteria contain memories to be passed on to future generations.

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