Magnetized bacteria improve biofuel

No! Bacteria are not fitted with New Age bracelets? Say it’s not true!

A major cost of biofuel is the bacteria used in fermenting alcohol. A new technique to manipulate the behavior of bacteria in the reactor can double biogas output.

By introducing magnetic particles in the fermenter, the bacteria spontaneously flocculate around the particles and are far easier to recycle. The new technique keeps using the same bacteria at the height of their productive capacity and concentration:

Large amounts of active bacteria are washed away in batch systems, and new communities have to be built from scratch and take a long time to grow into productive communities. By reusing bacteria at the point when they’re still active, overall biogas yields are improved dramatically.

The magnetic particles attract the bacteria, which can then be recycled simply by applying a permanent magnet.

Small amounts of ferrite do the trick. Yield increases of 200% have been achieved. [link to BioPact]