2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 120-17
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


BOSTICK, Benjamin C.1, PERICLES, Sylvia2, PETERS, Ameena3, MORRONE, Dominick4, ACOSTA, Jeffany5, LIANG, Min5, CHOWTIE, Keesha6 and YURTSEVER, Joshua7, (1)Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9w, Palisades, NY 10964, (2)SUNY Oswego, 7060 NY-104, Oswego, NY 13126, (3)SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Ave, Potsdam, NY 13676, (4)Tappan Zee High School, 15 Dutch Hill Rd, Orangeburg, NY 10962, (5)The Young Women's Leadership School, 105 E 106th St, New York, NY 10029, (6)The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria, 23-15 Newtown Ave, Astoria, NY 11102, (7)Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032, bostick@ldeo.columbia.edu

The power of microorganisms can be harnessed so that energy from photosynthesis can be stored in chemical and mineral forms. This power cycle is analogous to organic matter cycling, in which photosynthesis produces organic matter that is the basis for all ecosystems and respiration returns organic matter to its mineral form. This work introduces initial stages of the development of a microbial battery in which photosynthetic anaerobic bacteria were isolated; these bacteria store the sun's energy as oxidized (Fe) iron minerals. This chemical “battery” is charged with sunlight which then releases energy using a symbiotic bacterium. Eight soil samples were collected from Sparkill Creek and Tidal Stream at Piermont Marsh (Palisades NY) at different depths. These samples were then stored in septum bottles with a CO2 atmosphere in which they are deprived of oxygen. The presence of anaerobic bacteria cells and the lack of oxygen contributed to a more efficient process for the reproduction of appropriate bacteria.