Scientists put bacteria in paint and then something special happens

Scientists put bacteria in paint and then something special happens

The newly developed coating contains bacteria capable of capturing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen at the same time. Not only could this be an important weapon in the fight against climate change, but it could also be valuable in challenging environments, such as space stations.

No matter how beautiful the color on the wall is, most paints you can buy in the store aren’t very good for the environment. They often release volatile substances that evaporate into the air during application. These substances contribute to air pollution and can be harmful to human health. In addition, scraping old paint or disposing of paint residue can lead to soil and water contamination. Fortunately, to address these issues, there are increasing efforts to develop more environmentally friendly paints and coatings. And in the trade magazine Spectrum of microbiology Researchers reveal a very special alternative.

bacteria
In the new study, researchers developed an innovative paint that contains a special type of bacteria. It’s about to Crocodiopsis CubanaIt is a bacteria known for its ability to survive in harsh environments. The microbe is usually found in the desert and requires little water to thrive. Crocodiopsis Cubana It is also photosynthetic, meaning it is able to use light energy to convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds and produce oxygen as a byproduct.

Vital coating
Now researchers have made good use of this property. By adding bacteria to the paint, they created a special ‘bio-paint’ containing bacteria capable of capturing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen at the same time. In theory, this turns any painted surface into a mini oxygen factory, constantly releasing oxygen into the environment. because Crocodiopsis Cubana Paint absorbs carbon dioxide during metabolism, and paint can also act as a kind of carbon sink, reducing the amount of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

What are bio-based coatings?
Biocoatings are water-based paint-like substances that surround living bacteria in different layers. In addition to their ability to sequester carbon, they can also serve as bioreactors or biosensors. The big advantage is that bio-based coatings are environmentally friendly and can also help reduce harmful emissions. Because they use biological processes and renewable sources, they reduce their impact on the environment.

Researchers are excited. “Due to the increasing concentration of harmful greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, in the air and increasing concerns about water shortages due to rising global temperatures, there is an urgent need for new and innovative materials that are not only environmentally friendly but also environmentally sustainable in the long term,” says the researcher. Susie Hingley Wilson. “Mechanically robust, ready-to-use bio-based coatings or ‘living paints’ can help solve these problems by reducing water consumption in naturally water-intensive bioreactor processes.”

Appropriate
To investigate whether Crocodiopsis Cubana Suitable as a bio-based coating, the researchers trapped bacteria in a solid layer made of polymers and natural clay nanotubes in water. It was then dried completely before being rehydrated. The team discovered that the bacteria in this bio-coating can produce up to 0.4 grams of oxygen per gram of biomass per day and capture carbon dioxide at the same time. Furthermore, continuous oxygen measurements showed that bacterial activity remained stable for a month, with no signs of decline.

Green life paint
The team conducted similar experiments with blue-green algae Synechocystis sp., which lives in fresh water. But unlike desert bacteria, this microbe was unable to produce oxygen within the biosphere. Which Crocodiopsis Cubana It retains this promising feature. This highlights the diversity of these bacteria and their potential applications, especially in environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies. The researchers named their innovative paint “Green Living Paint.”

The potential of this paint is huge. For example, newly synthesized bio-based coatings could be very useful in situations where carbon dioxide reduction and oxygen production are important, such as in extreme environments such as space stations. But it is also useful on Earth. In this case, painted surfaces – from buildings to vehicles – actively contribute to oxygen production and carbon sequestration. This could significantly reduce our dependence on traditional methods of generating oxygen and help mitigate the effects of climate change. “We therefore expect our bio-based paint to contribute positively to a more sustainable future,” says researcher Joseph Keddie.

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