In Yellowstone National Park, lies the Heart Lake Geyser Basin. This area is home to pools of hot water, ranging from about 110 to nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit , that carry some very impressive bacteria that eat pollution and breathe electricity. Straight from the source Now, Washington State University’s (WSU) Abdelrhman Mohamed and colleagues have captured these microorganisms straight from their source to study them. "This was the first time such bacteria were collected in situ in an extreme environment like an alkaline hot spring," said Mohamed. Mohamed’s interest in the bacteria went beyond academic pursuits. The microbes may hold the key to solving the problems of pollution and energy demand that plague us today. Eating pollution Why? Because these specific microorganisms can literally eat pollution. They do this by turning toxic pollutants into less harmful substances and generating electricity in the process. Innovation "As these bacteria pass their electrons into metals or other solid surfaces, they can produce a stream of electricity that can be used for low-power applications," said Haluk Beyenal, Paul Hohenschuh Distinguished Professor in the Gene. Collecting these microbes was no easy task. Mohamed and his colleagues had to leave a few electrodes in the […]


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