Scientists will never tire of learning from Mother nature, who will always throw them new wonders. Today’s troublemaker is a tiny bacterium from the genus Bacillus, which implements a complex of chemical reactions to convert copper sulfate ions into pure zero-valence monatomic copper. To repeat this, people need to build at least a laboratory, and even better-a large chemical plant.

A bacterium with miraculous properties was discovered by researchers from the University of Houston (USA) at an old copper mine in Brazil. Such places often become septic tanks of extremely toxic liquids formed during the copper mining process, but life is possible here. The found bacterium literally makes its environment cleaner and safer, which can be an example of the formation of an interesting evolutionary mechanism.

Chemists and biologists directly say that they do not yet understand how the bacterium converts Cu2 copper sulfate ions into pure and safe monatomic Cu0 copper. Perhaps she is not doing this out of a good life, but in an attempt to protect herself from a toxic environment. And the fact that the output is ready-made and so much in demand by man metal copper, just a good coincidence.

But not everything is as rosy as it seems. First, the scale of processing of sulfates is negligible and scientists are not sure that they will be able to create a farm to grow these bacteria on an industrial scale. Secondly, the created copper must somehow be extracted from the bacteria, because it takes too long to wait for its natural withdrawal. However, if we can “tame” these bacteria and make them work for us, we can have a unique living chemical factory at our disposal.
Source — University of Houston