Clostridia are very ancient bacteria which evolved before the earth had an oxygen atmosphere. To them the air we breathe is a poison. To survive they produce a spore resting stage, resistant to physical and chemical agents.
Some species cause devastating diseases, such as the superbug Clostridium difficile. On the other hand, most are totally harmless, and make a wide range of chemicals useful to man. The best example is Clostridium acetobutylicum which makes butanol. Butanol is an alcohol, which may be used as a replacement for petrol. The development of alternatives to petrol is essential if we are to reduce our reliance on finite crude oil resources and lower CO2 emissions.
Created: 21st Aug 2009 at 14:15
Last updated: 22nd Nov 2011 at 20:12