Bacteria in cement making and rare earth elements extraction

According to the British think tank Chatham House, manufacturing cement creates up to 8 percent of human-produced carbon dioxide. To solve this issue, some start-ups add bacteria to cement that reduce the amount of CO2 released during the production process. American company bioMason employed bacteria to “grow” cementlike bricks, while the researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder employ cyanobacteria to do so.

Bacteria can also be used to extract rare earth elements from the rocks – which may be especially beneficial for space colonists working on Mars or the Moon. Experiments performed aboard the International Space Station showed that bacteria Sphingomonas desiccabilis, which developed on the basalt rocks, was resistant to gravity forces.

Protein structures layered within the wings of a morpho butterfly act like prisms. Scientists from the Californian Cypris Materials start-up intend to use it to produce paints and cosmetics devoid of dyes and pigments that are harmful to humans and the environment. European aviation company, Airbus works on a system called fello’fly – two commercial planes would be flying one behind another, mimicking the bird’s migration. The disturbed air from behind the leading plane would provide additional lift to the one following it as it happens when birds fly in cues. It could lead to the reduction of fuel consumption by the second machine by even 10 percent, therefore limiting emissions.