“If you’re interested in making clean fuels, this microbe makes an excellent starting point.”
Isolated from a hot spring on the Russian volcanic island of Kunashir, this microbe lives almost entirely on carbon monoxide. While consuming this normally poisonous gas, the microbe mixes it with water, producing hydrogen gas as waste.
“C. hydrogenoformans is one of the fastest-growing microbes that can convert water and carbon monoxide to hydrogen,” remarks TIGR evolutionary biologist Jonathan Eisen, senior author of the PLoS Genetics study.