Biosafety of human environments can be supported by effective use of renewable biomass

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jan 18;119(3):e2106843119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2106843119.


Preventing pathogenic viral and bacterial transmission in the human environment is critical, especially in potential outbreaks that may be caused by the release of ancient bacteria currently trapped in the permafrost. Existing commercial disinfectants present issues such as a high carbon footprint. This study proposes a sustainable alternative, a bioliquid derived from biomass prepared by hydrothermal liquefaction. Results indicate a high inactivation rate of pathogenic virus and bacteria by the as-prepared bioliquid, such as up to 99.99% for H1N1, H5N1, H7N9 influenza A virus, and Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores and 99.49% for Bacillus anthracis Inactivation of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis confirmed that low-molecular-weight and low-polarity compounds in bioliquid are potential antibacterial components. High temperatures promoted the production of antibacterial substances via depolymerization and dehydration reactions. Moreover, bioliquid was innoxious as confirmed by the rabbit skin test, and the cost per kilogram of the bioliquid was $0.04427, which is notably lower than that of commercial disinfectants. This study demonstrates the potential of biomass to support our biosafety with greater environmental sustainability.

PMID:35012978 | DOI:10.1073/pnas.2106843119


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