Monday, June 30, 2014


The role of microbes in the energy production has been relatively small in older times. Burning of microbial biomass has not been a clever alternative because the tiny size of microbial cells (even billions of cells, 1 000 000 000, can be easily be suspended in one milliliter of water - all too slow to cultivate big lots of biomass) and their water content (drying would be too much energy-consuming procedure). Wood, in opposite, has been an excellent alternative, especially when the material has been dried enough to give positive net balance of energy.

The energy-containing metabolites of microbes, not the microbial cells themselves, have been the subject of research and development of energy production. Because the full-oxidized end-products of aerobic, oxygen-respiring micro-organisms, the fermentative microbes (like ethanol-producing yeasts) and anaerobic bacteria (like methane producers) have got a certain role in energy production. One big benefit of these applications are the non-expensive raw materials of metabolic routes like carbohydrates, manures and other stuff which has either been left from other processes or even regarded as a waste.

(- to be continued soon...)
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