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Antibacterial Effects of Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen Peroxide


The Study of the Mechanisms of Carbon Dioxide-Induced Elevation of Hydrogen Peroxide Toxicity on Microbes and the Possibility of Using these Phenomena as an Innovative Tool for Water Purification

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Microbiology, Armenia, Abovian


  • University of Missouri-Columbia, USA, MO, Columbia\nUniversity of South Carolina / Department of Chemical Engineering, USA, SC, Columbia

Project summary

Current water purification techniques are based on the thermal effect, application of different chemicals and ionizing and non-ionizing irradiations. But these methods could not be considered as applicable to big amounts of water and safe from the point of toxicity and, which is more important, these methods are rather expensive. One of the global challenges of the 21st century is to find the best method to cleanup aquatic ecosystems from microbes, which will be cheap, safe to human health and environmentally-friendly.

The “killing” properties of the supercritical concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and a high concentration (3%) of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) molecules are currently being used as antiseptic and antibacterial agents. However, because of the toxic effect of CO2 on microbes at supercritical concentration requires the developing techniques: high pressure and comparative low temperature, it could not be applicable for cleaning of big amounts of water. Therefore, the development of the methods of the potentiation of their toxicity could serve as a promising tool for water purification in low concentrations of H2O2.

As the “killing” effects of these two substances on microbes are realized through different metabolic pathways, it is predicted that their definite combinations would give an opportunity to elevate their toxic effect in comparatively low concentrations of these substances. Our preliminary data have shown that the comparatively low concentration of CO2 stimulates the toxic effect of H2O2 on E. coli K-12 in water (AM patent 20080155). Therefore, it is suggested that the study of the mechanisms, through which CO2 potentiates the toxic effect of low concentrations of H2O2 on bacteria, could allow us to develop a new method for water purification by means of CO2-induced elevation of microbe sensitivity to H2O2. Therefore, the study of the effect of CO2 on the quantity and affinity of functionally active membrane protein molecules of microbes, sensitive to low concentrations of H2O2 was set as a working hypothesis for the present project. We suggest that due to the results obtained during this project a novel method for water purification from bacteria could be developed, which will be effective, inexpensive and environmentally-friendly. Furthermore, the obtained data about the existence of effects of CO2/H2O2 combination on water microorganisms is important for the protection of the environment and human health.

To achieve our goals, we are going to use classical microbiological methods (direct microscopic counts, direct microscopic observation, indirect viable cell counts (or counting colony forming units (CFUs), involving serial dilution and plating out a sample of a culture on a nutrient agar surface), as well as spectrophotometric, microcolorimetric and potentiometric and isotope methods. We will also use standard laboratory methods: liquid scintillation counting (LSC) method for the determination of the quantity and affinity of microbial membrane protein molecules sensitive to H2O2, counting the number of functionally active protein molecules and as well as the method of measurement of hydrogen peroxide in aqueous solution by means of enhanced chemiluminescence in a peroxidase-luminol-p-iodophenol system.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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