Navigation Links
Microbes churn out hydrogen at record rate
Date:11/13/2007

By adding a few modifications to their successful wastewater fuel cell, researchers have coaxed common bacteria to produce hydrogen in a new, efficient way.

Bruce Logan and colleagues at Penn State University had already shown success at using microbes to produce electricity. Now, using starter material that could theoretically be sourced from a salad bar, the researchers have coaxed those same microbes to generate hydrogen.

By tweaking their design, improving conditions for the bacteria, and adding a small jolt of electricity, they increased the hydrogen yield to a new record for this type of system.

"We achieved the highest hydrogen yields ever obtained with this approach from different sources of organic matter, such as yields of 91 percent using vinegar (acetic acid) and 68 percent using cellulose," said Logan.

In certain configurations, nearly all of the hydrogen contained in the molecules of source material converted to useable hydrogen gas, an efficiency that could eventually open the door to bacterial hydrogen production on a larger scale.

Logan and lead author Shaoan Cheng announced their results in the Nov. 12, 2007, online version of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Bruce Logan is a clear leader in this area of research on sustainable energy," said Bruce Hamilton, NSF director of the environmental sustainability program at NSF and the officer overseeing Logan's research grant. "Advances in sustainable energy capabilities are of paramount importance to our nation's security and economic well-being. We have been supporting his cutting-edge research on microbial fuel cells for a number of years and it is wonderful to see the outstanding results that he continues to produce."

Other systems produce hydrogen on a larger scale, but few if any match the new system for energy efficiency.

Even with the small amount of electricity applied, the hydrogen ultimately provides more energy as a fuel than the electricity needed to drive the reactor. Incorporating all energy inputs and outputs, the overall efficiency of the vinegar-fueled system is better than 80 percent, far better than the efficiency for generation of the leading alternative fuel, ethanol.

Even most electrolysis techniques, methods to extract hydrogen from water using electricity, pale in comparison to the new method.

"We can do that by using the bacteria to efficiently extract energy from the organic matter," said Logan. By perfecting the environment for the bacteria to do what they already do in nature, the new approach can be three to ten times more efficient than standard electrolysis.


'/>"/>

Contact: Josh Chamot
jchamot@nsf.gov
703-292-7730
National Science Foundation  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
2. Engineered eggshells to help make hydrogen fuel
3. NMR researchers unlock hydrogens secrets to spot polymorphism in pharmaceuticals
4. Scientists discover record-breaking hydrogen storage materials for use in fuel cells
5. Birth records hold pancreatic cancer clue
6. Researchers set new record for brightness of quantum dots
7. OHSU turns innovations into commercial opportunities at record pace
8. Fossil record supports evidence of impending mass extinction
9. Fossil record reveals elusive jellyfish more than 500 million years old
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Microbes churn out hydrogen at record rate
(Date:8/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help ... the human microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body ... ... bacteria in the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal ... in disease. Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient ... organizations, and MD EMR Systems , an ... partner for GE, have established a partnership to ... product and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity ... These new integrations will allow ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding ... a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 ... airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten ... to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Arizona (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... Kindred, a four-tiered line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers ... and packaging of Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Arizona (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... 15 years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and ... in-house expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: