How sugarcane helps bacteria in the production of “green” hydrogen

Posted on 3 Dec 2019

The benefits of hydrogen as a raw material, fuel and storage medium for sustainable electricity are countless. But the current hydrogen production process is not always “green”. This is possible through the use of nuclear or renewable energy, but also through designer bacteria.

Cheaper production methods of “green” hydrogen

The cheapest way to produce hydrogen, splitting natural gas into “gray” hydrogen and CO2, is not climate-friendly. That is why scientists are busy developing methods to produce “green” hydrogen. The use of renewable energy sources, but also nuclear energy, is a possible way of producing “green” hydrogen in a climate-neutral manner. It is important to develop cheaper production methods in particular.

Energy on demand

Australian researchers think they have found a cheaper way. They managed to cultivate designer bacteria in a two liter water tank, with sugarcane as a breeding ground. During the digestion process, the designer bacteria produce hydrogen. By accelerating the metabolism of those bacteria, this will produce even more hydrogen. It is collected and held in a fuel cell. The bacteria are already very cheap. Moreover, the bacteria are stable, they produce the same amount of hydrogen as four months ago. We think we should only replace the bacteria every six months. They only produce hydrogen when we give them sugar cane. So they deliver energy on demand. ” This also offers solutions to the storage problem of hydrogen gas.

Read more: Susanova

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