Waste Not, Want Not
Bacteria-driven cell produces hydrogen for fuel while cleaning wastewater
By harnessing the efforts of billions of bacteria, researchers have engineered a bio-filtration system that produces hydrogen gas while cleaning wastewater – gas that could potentially fuel other machines. Up to 100 percent more efficient at producing hydrogen than similar bio-filtration systems, the new device has the added benefit of being able to digest human or animal waste, plant material or just about any organic matter.
Hong Liu and Bruce Logan of Penn State University and Stephen Grot of Ion Power, Inc. of New Castle, Del. announced their findings online April 22, 2005, in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
A Penn State University press release is available at: http://www.psu.edu/ur/2005/hydrogensource.html. A follow-up release about a scaling-up of the microbial fuel cell technology is at: http://live.psu.edu/index.php?sec=vs_highlight&story=23030&highlight=1
Bruce Logan, Hong Liu and Stephen Grot recently won a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award for their work on microbe-driven fuel cells.
This research was supported by NSF Award #0401885:
Additional Award information
The SGER research generated an earlier NSF press release, and an animation of the bio-filtration device. Both can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=100337
NSF Award #0331824:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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