A key feature of them is high adaptation for living in acidic environment and ability to process organic waste, rich in simple sugars, emitting hydrogen. The study results were published in The International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, which is published since 1976 by the International Association of Hydrogen Energy.
The discovery has become a result of utilisation of genetic methods, which made possible studying of microorganisms that were difficult to cultivate in lab environment. The specialists with FRC of Biotechnology under RAS while studying the bacteria, analysed 16S rRNA – one of principle kinds of ribosome ribonucleic acids, which alongside with DNA and proteins are basic macromolecules of all living cells. Aside from determining a type of bacteria (the new strain of said Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum), the analysis allowed to find out that this is a thermophile organism, which actively multiplies under temperature 55-60 degrees of Celsius in slightly alkaline environment with pH 7.5 (for comparison tap water pH is 7.0).
The experiments also indicated that source materials for the bacteria are sugars: hexoses, composed of hex atomic carbon rings (glucose, galactose, lactose, maltose, mannose, raphinose, sucrose, fructose, cellobiose), and pentose based on rings of five atoms of carbon (arabinose and xylose). Concurrently the highest output of hydrogen is provided by maltose and slightly lesser –by lactose and cellobiose. Among experimental wastes of industrial enterprises, used during study, the most beneficial for the bacteria happened to be curdy whey and byproducts of confectionery production.
“Our data demonstrate, that Thermoanaerobacterim thermosacharolitycum SP-H2 must be considered a promising strain for hydrogen production from waste water, which is not hindered by other microorganisms, living in it. By finding a way to boost end-product output, one might learn to produce hydrogen fuel aided by biotechnologies in industrial scale”,–resumes one of the research team members, candidate of biological sciences Yuriy Litty (the quotation from press release of FRC of Biotechnology under RAS).