SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean researchers have discovered a new bacteria that can convert the nitrate responsible for the growth of green algae into ammonia at a sewage disposal facility.
A research team from the National Institute of Biological Resources and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced on Wednesday that it had detected two types of new bacteria that can turn nitrate into ammonia at a Daejeon sewage disposal facility.
The newly-detected bacteria are the first of their kind to breathe gaseous hydrogen to turn nitrate into ammonium ions without being supplied with separate organic materials in a natural condition.
“It’s like we found a new method that can ensure strenuous production of ammonia, one of the key ingredients of nitrogenous fertilizer, while eliminating nitrate in the water by using a very tiny amount of hydrogen,” the research team said.
“Using green hydrogen produced with solar energy, the new method can churn out nitrogenous fertilizer while emitting less carbon compared to existing production methods.”
Existing methods that can convert nitrate into ammonia using electrocatalysis or microorganisms have some limits, requiring difficult conditions to be achieved.
For instance, they require an extremely high level of acidity with a pH of less than 1, or a very high level of nitrate density.
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)