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'Biodesalination': a synthetic biology approach for the use of photosynthetic bacteria in water treatment

Honsbein, A, Madsen, A, Amezaga, JM, Biggs, CA, Bond, Thomas, Gandy, CJ, Karunakaran, E, Lawton, L, Minas, K, Templeton, MR and Amtmann, A (2014) 'Biodesalination': a synthetic biology approach for the use of photosynthetic bacteria in water treatment New Biotechnology, 31 (Supple). S140-S141.

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Shortage of freshwater is a serious global problem, and expected to become even more urgent over the next decades. Many of the driest regions worldwide are close to the sea, but irrigation of fields with seawater–even if diluted–leads to the build-up of salt levels in the soil that are toxic to all common food crops ( Current desalination technologies such as membrane-based reverse osmosis, are successfully used in large-scale desalination plants, however, they are expensive and energy inefficient [1]. Our multi-disciplinary team of biologists and engineers from 5 UK universities is working on an innovative desalination technology based on biological processes [2]. The “Biodesalination” strategy envisions the use of photosynthetic cyanobacteria modified with light-driven ion transport proteins to function as ion exchangers that selectively remove sodium chloride from seawater. This process would harness solar energy to provide a more cost effective and energetically sustainable desalination process.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Civil Engineering
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Honsbein, A
Madsen, A
Amezaga, JM
Biggs, CA
Gandy, CJ
Karunakaran, E
Lawton, L
Minas, K
Templeton, MR
Amtmann, A
Date : July 2014
DOI : 10.1016/j.nbt.2014.05.1962
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:57
Last Modified : 25 Jan 2020 00:35

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