Fuel produced naturally: primitive bacteria that can make fuel for space rockets

Fuel produced naturally: primitive bacteria that can make fuel for space rockets


Scientists decipher Dutch way primitive bacteria can generate a cocktail of proteins capable of producing a natural way a substance used as fuel for space rockets.

A few years ago, bacteria Kuenenia stuttgartiensis amazed scientists discovered that she could make ammonia, a pollutant found in water, nitrogen gas, without using oxygen.

This type of bacteria called "annamox" could produce between 30% and 50% of terrestrial atmospheric nitrogen and interest them very much oceanology, climatology, and wastewater treatment professionals. The latter are used, moreover, the treatment plants.

Professor Mike Jetten, Radboud University microbiologist from Nimegue (Netherlands), explained how bacteria use ammonia Kuenenia stuttgartiensis and produce hydrazine (N2H4), a chemical compound used as fuel for space rockets.

"It was not easy to succeed. He had to use a large number of new and experimental methods. But I managed to isolate the protein responsible for producing a mixture of hydrazine, a mixture that was a beautiful red," said Mike Jetten.

"At first, we were unable to produce hydrazine. He had to add one additional protein, which" captures "the fuel, but now everything is working," added the same scientist, whose discovery was published Sunday in the journal Nature.

"NASA wanted to know how we can produce fuel for missiles based on nitrogen compounds, which are found in large quantities in urine, for example. Unfortunately, they are produced in small amounts, enough to send a rocket to Mars," Mike Jetten added.

Dutch biologists are now studying protein structure used cocktail of bacteria, hoping it "dopeze" production.

Hydrazine is used in fuel cells developed by Japanese car manufacturer Daihatsu, a technique has the advantage of not requiring expensive rare metals such as platinum.

Tags: bacteria fuel, cars with bacteria buel, new technology discovered, nasa new fuel


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