Microorganisms may help produce renewable energy in large quantities

July 14, 2008

By Flinn Foundation

[Source:] – Scientists at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University say that two complementary approaches may help use microorganisms to produce renewable energy in large quantities, without damaging the environment or competing with the food supply.

The researchers say that the first approach is to use microbes to convert biomass to useful energy.

According to them, different microorganisms can grow without oxygen to take this abundant organic matter, and convert it to useful forms of energy such as methane, hydrogen or even electricity.

The second approach, they say, is to use bacteria or algae that can capture sunlight to produce new biomass that can be turned into liquid fuels like biodiesel, or converted by other microorganisms to useful energy.

Biodesign Institute