The Earth has a limited supply of raw materials, but the human race seems to have an unlimited need. The products that we use every day range from plastics to fabrics to makeup to gas, and vast majority of these items come from materials deep underground that are quickly depleting. Collectively, we are working toward switching our needs from raw materials to more sustainable options. One of those options would be to use microbes to create these materials. Microbes offer a potentially more options for the future, including an inexpensive option to create materials that are actually more eco-friendly with the environment.
But how will this work? The process would take place in a giant bioreactor that would be filled with living microorganisms. In order to achieve this creation, the discipline of systems metabolic engineering will need to further research the ability for the microbes to synthesize their energy and resources into useful chemical products. Some of the research will involve changing the genetic material of the organism.
Once the engineering process is completely worked out, the use of microbes could possibly replace a portion our need for fossil fuels. Microbes are indefinitely renewable and emit little to no greenhouse gases, which could help reverse the flow of carbon from the Earth to the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide. Even though this technology might be a few years off, the potential it carries is seemingly endless.