Clostridium acetobutylicum

Clostridium acetobutylicum

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Clostridium acetobutylicum, ATCC
American Type Culture Collection
The American Type Culture Collection is a private, not-for-profit biological resource center whose mission focuses on the acquisition, authentication, production, preservation, development and distribution of standard reference microorganisms, cell lines and other materials for research in the...

 824, is included in the genus Clostridium
Clostridium
Clostridium is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria, belonging to the Firmicutes. They are obligate anaerobes capable of producing endospores. Individual cells are rod-shaped, which gives them their name, from the Greek kloster or spindle...

, is a commercially valuable bacterium sometimes called the "Weizmann Organism", after Jewish-Russian born Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Azriel Weizmann, , was a Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected on 1 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952....

, then senior lecturer at the University of Manchester
University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is a public research university located in Manchester, United Kingdom. It is a "red brick" university and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities and the N8 Group...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, used them in 1916 as a bio-chemical tool to produce at the same time, jointly, acetone
Acetone
Acetone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, the simplest example of the ketones.Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory...

, ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 and butanol
Butanol
Butanol or butyl alcohol can refer to any of the four isomeric alcohols of formula C4H9OH:*n-Butanol, butan-1-ol, 1-butanol, n-butyl alcohol;*Isobutanol, 2-methylpropan-1-ol, isobutyl alcohol;...

 from starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

. The method was described since as the ABE process, (Acetone Butanol Ethanol fermentation process), yielding 3 parts of acetone
Acetone
Acetone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, the simplest example of the ketones.Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory...

, 6 of butanol
Butanol
Butanol or butyl alcohol can refer to any of the four isomeric alcohols of formula C4H9OH:*n-Butanol, butan-1-ol, 1-butanol, n-butyl alcohol;*Isobutanol, 2-methylpropan-1-ol, isobutyl alcohol;...

 and 1 of ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

, reducing the former difficulties to make cordite
Cordite
Cordite is a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance...

, an explosive, from acetone and paving the way also, for instance, to obtain vehicle fuels and synthetic rubber
Synthetic rubber
Synthetic rubber is is any type of artificial elastomer, invariably a polymer. An elastomer is a material with the mechanical property that it can undergo much more elastic deformation under stress than most materials and still return to its previous size without permanent deformation...

, based amongst others on the pioneering work of Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev
Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev
Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev was a Russian/Soviet chemist and the inventor of the polybutadiene synthetic rubber, the first commercially viable and mass-produced type of synthetic rubber.- Biography :...

 (1874–1934) using butanol polymerized with metallic sodium during the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 for vehicles tyres with natural rubber imports from Malaysia and Brazil blocked by the British.

Another Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

-American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 scientist , Ivan Ostromislensky
Ivan Ostromislensky
Ivan Ivanovich Ostromislensky was a Russian organic chemist. He is credited as the pioneer in studying polymerization of synthetic rubber as well as inventor of various industrial technologies for production of synthetic rubber, polymers and pharmaceuticals.-Early life:Ostromislensky was born in...

, (1880–1939), is credited with work , circa 1910 - 1913, on synthetic rubber at Moscow State University
Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

 and at Bogatyr
Bogatyr
The bogatyr was a medieval heroic warrior of Kievan Rus' and the Novgorodian Republic, akin to a Western European knight errant.- Kievan Rus' :...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. he was a traveler, entreprener and fine researcher at Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, including chemotherapy drugs for syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, such as Salvarsan, in the 1910s who emigrated in 1921, from the University of Latvia
University of Latvia
University of Latvia is a university located in Riga, Latvia. Being established in 1919, University of Latvia is the biggest university in the Baltic states.-History:...

, Riga
Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

, by then an country independent of the former Russian Empire, to the U. S. A. invited to work from May 1922 by Dr.A. Hopkinson at the Labs of the United States Rubber Company
United States Rubber Company
The United States Rubber Company was founded in Naugatuck, Connecticut in 1892. It was one of the original 12 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and became Uniroyal Inc...

 and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery....

, and setting up his own pharmaceutical drugs labs in the USA.

Ostromislensky's work in the 1930s, as a new American citizen, for Union Carbide
Union Carbide
Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. It currently employs more than 2,400 people. Union Carbide primarily produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some are high-volume...

 Corporation is today recognized as important for the U.S. military effort during World War II, including those reactions whereby ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 is oxidized to acetaldehyde
Acetaldehyde
Acetaldehyde is an organic chemical compound with the formula CH3CHO or MeCHO. It is one of the most important aldehydes, occurring widely in nature and being produced on a large scale industrially. Acetaldehyde occurs naturally in coffee, bread, and ripe fruit, and is produced by plants as part...

, which reacts with additional ethanol over a tantalum
Tantalum
Tantalum is a chemical element with the symbol Ta and atomic number 73. Previously known as tantalium, the name comes from Tantalus, a character in Greek mythology. Tantalum is a rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous transition metal that is highly corrosion resistant. It is part of the refractory...

-promoted porous silica catalyst at 325–350 °C to yield butadiene.

The A.B.E. process was an industry standard until the late 1940s, some factories having been set up meanwhile by Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 advisers at some of the SSSR Central Asia republics now independent from the actual Russian Federation, manufacturing some 50,000 Tons/year, but low oil costs till 1973 drove after the seventies to so called more-efficient processes based on hydrocarbon
Hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

 cracking and petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 distillation techniques.

Increases in world population and higher life expectancies for many hundreds of millions of emerging countries, coupled with outstanding progress in the bio-technological field, opens once again the question of whether or not (or to what extent) A.B.E.-like processes could be important for the future.

Other types of clostridium bacteria


Clostridium
Clostridium
Clostridium is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria, belonging to the Firmicutes. They are obligate anaerobes capable of producing endospores. Individual cells are rod-shaped, which gives them their name, from the Greek kloster or spindle...

 consists of around 100 species that include common free-living bacteria as well as important pathogens. There are four main species responsible for disease in humans:
  • C. botulinum, an organism that produces botulinum toxin in food/wound and can cause botulism. Honey sometimes contains spores of Clostridium botulinum, which may cause infant botulism in humans one year old and younger. The toxin eventually paralyzes the infant's breathing muscles. Adults and older children can eat honey safely, because Clostridia do not compete well with the other rapidly growing bacteria present in the GI (Gastrointestinal) tract. This same toxin is known as "Botox" and is used cosmetically to paralyze facial muscles to reduce the signs of aging; it also has numerous therapeutic uses.

  • C. difficile, which can flourish when other bacteria in the gut are killed during antibiotic therapy, leading to pseudomembranous colitis (a cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea).

  • C. perfringens, formerly called C. welchii, causes a wide range of symptoms, from food poisoning to gas gangrene. Also responsible for enterotoxemia (also known as "overeating disease" or "pulpy kidney disease") in sheep and goats. C. perfringens also takes the place of yeast in the making of salt rising bread. The name perfringens means "breaking through, breaking in pieces".

  • C. tetani, the causative organism of tetanus. The name derives from "of a tension", referring to the tension (caused by tetanus) in the muscles.

  • C. sordellii has been linked to the deaths of more than a dozen women after childbirth. Fatal Clostridium sordellii infections after medical abortions.Meites E, Zane S, Gould C; N Engl J Med. 2010 Sep 30;363(14):1382-3.


Unlike yeast
Yeast
Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

, which can digest sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 only into alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

, C. acetobutylicum and other Clostridia can digest whey
Whey
Whey or Milk Serum is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is manufactured during the making of rennet types of hard cheese like cheddar or Swiss cheese...

, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

, perhaps certain types of lignin
Lignin
Lignin or lignen is a complex chemical compound most commonly derived from wood, and an integral part of the secondary cell walls of plants and some algae. The term was introduced in 1819 by de Candolle and is derived from the Latin word lignum, meaning wood...

 yielding butanol
Butanol
Butanol or butyl alcohol can refer to any of the four isomeric alcohols of formula C4H9OH:*n-Butanol, butan-1-ol, 1-butanol, n-butyl alcohol;*Isobutanol, 2-methylpropan-1-ol, isobutyl alcohol;...

, propionic acid
Propionic acid
Propanoic acid is a naturally occurring carboxylic acid with chemical formula CH3CH2COOH. It is a clear liquid with a pungent odor...

, ether
Diethyl ether
Diethyl ether, also known as ethyl ether, simply ether, or ethoxyethane, is an organic compound in the ether class with the formula . It is a colorless, highly volatile flammable liquid with a characteristic odor...

, and glycerin.

Note: glycerin is a hard to get rid of waste product of biodiesel production. It can be now be made useful with the bacteria called Clostridium pasteurianum. Website: http://cleantechnica.com/2011/01/31/workhorse-bacteria-solves-biofuel-waste-problem/
Excerpt: One solution is under development by a graduate student at the University of Alabama, who has identified a glycerol-loving bacteria called Clostidium pasteurianum. This little bug occurs naturally in soil and is known for its nitrogen-fixing abilities, and the researcher found that it has other talents, too. When it digests glycerol, it generates at least five valuable byproducts: butanol (which can sub directly for gasoline) , propanediol, ethanol, acetic acid and butyric acid. The next step is to develop more efficient strains of the bacteria.

Some genetic engineering manipulations


James Liao, a chemical engineer
Chemical engineer
In the field of engineering, a chemical engineer is the profession in which one works principally in the chemical industry to convert basic raw materials into a variety of products, and deals with the design and operation of plants and equipment to perform such work...

 at the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, developed a method to insert genes
Gênes
Gênes is the name of a département of the First French Empire in present Italy, named after the city of Genoa. It was formed in 1805, when Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the Republic of Genoa. Its capital was Genoa, and it was divided in the arrondissements of Genoa, Bobbio, Novi Ligure, Tortona and...

 from Clostridium acetobutylicum which are responsible for production of butanol into the bacterium Escherichia coli
Escherichia coli
Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms . Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for product recalls...

. http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/20073 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v451/n7174/pdf/nature06450.pdf

See also

  • ABE
  • Acetone
    Acetone
    Acetone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, the simplest example of the ketones.Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory...

  • Butanol
    Butanol
    Butanol or butyl alcohol can refer to any of the four isomeric alcohols of formula C4H9OH:*n-Butanol, butan-1-ol, 1-butanol, n-butyl alcohol;*Isobutanol, 2-methylpropan-1-ol, isobutyl alcohol;...

  • Ethanol
    Ethanol
    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...


External links


ISSN: 01757598 CODEN: AMBID DOI: 10.1007/s00253-010-2707-z PubMed ID: 20535464 Document Type: Short Survey Source Type: Journal