Energy production

Some bacterial strains of the genus Zymomonas can transform sugar into ethanol, the same alcohol that can be found in wine and beer. The ethanol obtained from these bacteria is mixed with petrol to make fuel. This process is used in particular in hot countries, where sugary substances, such as sugarcane, are extensively produced. Methane too can be produced with the aid of bacteria. Methanogen bacteria take their name from their ability to produce gas by fermenting organic substances, such as animal faeces and waste. This ability is exploited to produce bio-gas for heating or cooking.

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  • 3 November 2014

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From the Multimedia section

Facts

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    Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

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    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

    Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...