Meet The Electric Bacteria That lives on Pure Energy. It sounds crazy but yes there are these living organisms that feed on pure electricity. Unlike other organisms these bacteria use the energy in its pure form that eat and excrete electrons. This bacterium was discovered by some biologists of University of South California (USC) including the biologist Kenneth Nealson. These biologists passed electrodes in the earth and start electricity, bacteria start growing on the wires it took a lot of time to grow. Scientists let the electrodes be there for months until they have enough of bacteria to study. Further, when they study these bacteria it comes to know that “electric bacteria” are real and they just need electricity to feed.
“Life figures out how to suck electrons out of everything we eat and keep them under control”
We eat food that is converted into sugar or glucose by our body. Glucose has a high number of free electrons. When we breathe the oxygen via a complex chemical process take these electrons and a flow of energy take places. From this, we get the main idea that every living organism on this planet needs the energy to survive. This energy comes from the flow of electrons either directly or by some complex chemical reactions in the living organism. Electrons must flow to gain energy. According to Nealson “life is very clever. It figures out how to suck electrons out of everything we eat and keep them under control”.
Meet The Electric Bacteria That lives on Pure Energy
It appears that by applying a different voltage across the electrode different kind of electric bacteria is attracted towards it. We know two of their kind Shewanella and Geobacter. Scientists think that there is a whole new world of this bacterium yet to be discovered.
Electric bacteria are of different shapes and structures. Some of them produce hair-like filaments that perform as wires. Scientists named them as microbial nanowires. Bacteria can connect themselves with each other through these microbial. Longest of it is 3 or 4 micrometers long. In areas where oxygen is not very near they reach it by connecting these microbial with each other. Early work shows that these microbes are also capable of conducting electricity.
These bacteria are going to be very useful in the future as they can eat pollution. They can convert the organic compounds in oil spills into carbon dioxide. They are also able to turn soluble plutonium and uranium into an insoluble form that is less likely to contaminate groundwater. Moreover, they will generate electricity in this process.