Navigation Links
From bacteria to electricity: The future of green energy
Date:4/19/2010

ARLINGTON, Va. Showcasing its energy research initiatives for an Earth Day event on April 22 at the Pentagon, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) will highlight the microbial fuel cell, a device that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity.

These fuel cells convert naturally occurring fuels and oxidants in the marine environment into electricity, offering a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels.

The fuel cell can be a viable power source for long-term operation of autonomous underwater unmanned vehicles, in-water sensors, and devices used for surveillance and monitoring the ocean environment.

Named as one of TIME magazine's "Top 50 Inventions for 2009," the fuel cell, with its powerful return of clean energy, could reduce carbon emissions in the environment and change the way we fuel our vehicles and supply power to our homes.

"Microbial fuel cell research is a great example of naval needs propelling advanced technology that also has potential benefit to the public" said Chief of Naval Research, Rear Adm. Nevin Carr. "The Secretary of the Navy issued five energy goals to the Department of the Navy last October at ONR's Naval Energy Forum and this fuel cell research will help provide part of the solution."

"Think of it as a battery that runs on mud," ONR Program Manager Dr. Linda Chrisey said. "They are sustainable, environmentally friendly and don't involve hazardous reactants like a regular battery might because they use the natural carbon in the marine environment. For example, we are working on a 4-foot long autonomous underwater vehicle that will settle on the seafloor and recharge its batteries using this fuel cell approach. We are already able to power many types of sensors using microbial fuel cells."

Dr. Leonard Tender, a research chemist in the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), has been a central figure in the development of the fuel cell. "We work on the intersection of microbiology and electrochemistry," Tender said. "The most fascinating aspect of the program is how these micro-organisms function and the mechanisms by which they take fuel, metabolize it and generate electrical current."

Working with scientists from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Tender and his team started to investigate electricity-generating microorganisms. The most promising, called Geobacter, was discovered in the Potomac River immediately downstream of NRL.

The discovery of the tiny Geobacter microbe by Dr. Derek Lovley of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst holds the key to understanding microbial energy conversion. Geobacter uses its hair-like extensions, or pili, to generate electricity from mud and wastewater. Researchers have developed a strain of Geobacter that is eight times more efficient than other strains at producing power.

"Essentially, they could go on for years without any kind of battery replacement," Chrisey said. For this reason, Navy researchers at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) Pacific are using fuel cell-powered devices to track Pacific-endangered green sea turtles.

"The device is light, efficient and environmentally friendly," said Bart Chadwick, SPAWAR's Head of Environmental Sciences Branch. "The technology is helping track sea turtle populations, if they are feeding near Navy shorefront facilities, which informs Navy decision-making on port operations or construction."


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter Vietti
pvietti@navy.mil
703-696-5031
Office of Naval Research
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Bacterial food supplements for small algae
2. Hormone therapy for food poisoning bacteria
3. Colonies of bacteria fight for resources with lethal protein
4. Wine vine: Microscopic photography reveals bacteria destroying grape plant cell wall
5. Human cells exhibit foraging behavior like amoebae and bacteria
6. Bacterial balance that keeps us healthy
7. Mineral studies advance antibacterial alternatives
8. Researchers examine plants ability to identify, block invading bacteria
9. UCLA engineers develop faster method to detect bacterial contamination in coastal waters
10. Treating neonatal meningitis -- is nitric oxide a foe or a friend to bacteria?
11. Bacteria-killing proteins cover blood type blind spot
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
From bacteria to electricity: The future of green energy
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that ... has secured the final acceptance by all three ... Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have ... installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint ... sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening ... ... ... Photo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is ... projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Andrew ... http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently in ... journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , ... cancer care is placing an increasing burden on ... biologic therapies. With the patents on many biologics ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the development ... laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential ... for many early stage organizations - access to laboratory ... Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each ...
Breaking Biology Technology: