Post by Roger Clifton on Aug 1, 2016 15:53:38 GMT 9.5
The Ecomodernists would need something like this as a food source in their self-contained cities. Isaac Asimov explored the idea of cities fed on yeast. With only electricity as energy source, a variation of the proton pump might be engineered to directly convert current into biochemicals, but in its absence, an intermediate such as methanol might be sufficient.
Microorganisms which grow in the dark ... must be fed on something else .... or chemical feedstocks like volcanic H2S or fossil methane
Can we create food for microbes using just electricity and CO2 ? It seems that we can. This paper describes efficient electro-catalytic production of ethylene from CO2. The double bond in ethylene makes for easy production of ethanol and other C2 chemicals, surely some of which must be satisfactory as a base to the food chain.
"The resulting fuel is really clean...and the whole thing is carbon neutral and cheaper than gas is today. If you produce methanol instead of gasoline and run that in a methanol fuel cell in a hybrid electric vehicle, it is very economical compared to gasoline (about half the cost). Producing methanol from this process is cheaper and easier than producing gasoline or diesel fuel...."
"The bacteria Methylophilus Methylotrophus has been shown to grow extremely well on methanol and has been proven to be a very useful protein rich animal feed supplement broadly comparable or superior to Soybean meal."