Super Bacterium Hydrogen Gas Production

Could a New Zealand bacterium foster a hydrogen economy?

How could a bacterium discovered in a New Zealand hot spring pave the way for a clean-energy, hydrogen-based economy? Researchers in Sweden think they might have found the answer.

Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus has more than a tongue-twisting name; it also has the ability to pump out twice as much hydrogen gas as other bacteria currently used in biogas production. That novel skill could potentially help make hydrogen production more energy- and cost-effective than it is today, making a hydrogen-fueled future more of a possibility.

New Super Bacterium Doubles Hydrogen Gas Production

"If hydrogen gas is produced from biomass, there is no addition of carbon dioxide because the carbon dioxide formed in the production is the same that is absorbed from the atmosphere by the plants being used. Bio-hydrogen gas will probably complement biogas in the future," predicts Karin Willquist.

Today there are cars that run on hydrogen gas, e.g. the Honda FCX, even if they are few in number. The reason for this is that it is too expensive to produce hydrogen gas and there is no functioning hydrogen infrastructure.

"A first step towards a hydrogen gas society could be to mix hydrogen gas with methane gas and use the existing methane gas infrastructure. Buses in Malmö, for example, drive on a mixture of hydrogen gas and methane gas," says Karin Willquist.

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  1. Could a New Zealand bacterium foster a hydrogen economy? | Energy
  2. New super bacterium doubles hydrogen gas production
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  4. Applied Microbiology: Biohydrogen
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