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Biotech

Microbes Churn Out Hydrogen at Record Rate 168

FiReaNGeL writes to mention that Penn State Researchers have improved on their original microbial electrolysis cell design bringing the resulting system up to better than 80 percent efficiency when considering all energy inputs and outputs. "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 usable hydrogen gas, an efficiency that could eventually open the door to bacterial hydrogen production on a larger scale."

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