Chemosynthesis is the biological conversion of inorganic matter to create nutrients to sustain living organisms. One of the most widely known or popular examples is its use in the Giant Tube Worm, which uses an organ that contains chemosynthetic bacteria.

The chemosynthesis of hydrogen sulfide uses 12 hydrogen sulfides and 6 carbon dioxides to create a carbohydrate, 6 waters, and 12 sulphurs. Is it feasible that a bacteria or plant-like organism alter this process to further process that water into oxygen, and why would it do this?

  • $\begingroup$ To produce oxygen by chemical means, we need a powerful oxidizer (fluoride, chlorine-oxygen compounds, peroxides etc.). Such an oxidizer is normally not available in environment, and is often harmful to the bacteria when it comes in contact with it. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jul 27 '18 at 23:58
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    $\begingroup$ Not without an outside powersource no, even green sulfur bacteria need the glow from radioactive rocks. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 28 '18 at 1:16
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    $\begingroup$ What problem are you trying to solve with chemosynthesis? $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Jul 28 '18 at 1:31

I won't answer how to produce oxygen because another answer already does that and because you could use water, carbon dioxide an ATP in order to produce glucose and oxygen using the reverse Krebs cycle .

I'll answer why do this.

  • Symbiosis: this bacteria need the help of another bacteria which only lives ok aerobic zones and feed odd glucose. By this way, these bacterias make some kind of exchange, food and air for protection or some mineral/amino acid which can't be gathered or produce by the first bacteria.
  • Predation: these bacteria eat another bacteria that only live in aerobic zones, so he uses its oxygen and glucose as a trap.

One process that can separate the elements oxygen and hydrogen from water is the electrolysis and it only would be possible if this plant-like or bacteria is able to polarize the water in cathode and anode like a magnet or be sitting in the top of a natural magnet while receiving an electric charge.

We also know that is possible to produce Electricity through chemical reactions, as for example batteries or even by friction to create static electricity.

Also, Oxygenic photosynthesis, the process by which certain organisms use the energy of sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar for food, with oxygen as a by-product is a good option as you have it and water as by-products of the Chemosynthesis.

I would say it is possible, just use your preferred combination of these elements to build your oxygen.


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