Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Hydrogen Based Bacteria
Name: Ellen
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

i was in my Biology class and a very respectable someone mentioned something about the discovery of a hydrogen based bacteria. my teacher wasnt aware of this study, and assigned me to find out about it. so i thought i would Email you and see if you people knew anything about it. Awaiting your repsonse

I'm not quite sure what you mean by hydrogen based bacteria but I will take a stab that you mean bacteria that use hydrogen for energy. Some bacteria are chemolithotrophs which mean that they are autrophs but don't use the sun as their energy source; they get their energy from chemical sources. There are bacteria that use hydrogen as their energy source. They are diverse as a group and are all facultative. The overall chemical reaction looks like this:

4H20 + 2O2-----> 4H20
2H2 + CO2-----> (CH20) + H2O
6H2 + 2O2 + CO2 ----> (CH2O) + 5 H2O
So the oxidation of four H2 to water yields enough energy to allow the synthesis fo cell material(carbohydrate) from CO2 + H2

If this is not what you meant, let me know.

Van Hoeck

Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory