Thursday, October 25, 2007

Biomass to Hydrogen

Is it me or has this been the week of hydrogen crossing over into biofuels? The USDA must be doing a good job of finding well developed science and unleashing it on new biofuel and biomass efforts..

Here is another one: Microbes plus sugar equals hydrogen...

Using the collection's database information, the team is searching for microbes that "eat" biomass sugars (e.g., glucose and xylose from corn stover) and are electrochemically active. That means they can transfer electrons from fuel cell sugars without help from costly chemicals called mediators. The electrons, after traveling a circuit, combine with protons in a cathode chamber, forming hydrogen, which can be burned or converted into electricity.

One thing not mentioned that would make this really sexy to the 'out-side-the-box' set. Cellulosic hydrogen. For energy geeks that would be the ten year old boy equivalent of ninjas fighting robots over stolen magic pirate treasure.

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