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ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2011) — A grain of salt or two may be all that microbial electrolysis cells need to produce hydrogen from wastewater or organic byproducts, without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or using grid electricity, according to Penn State engineers.
Microbial electrolysis cells that produce hydrogen are the basis of this recent work, but previously, to produce hydrogen, the fuel cells required some electrical input. Now, Logan, working with postdoctoral fellow Younggy Kim is using the difference between river water and seawater to add the extra energy needed to produce hydrogen.
Logan and Kim's research used platinum as a catalyst on the cathode, but subsequent experimentation showed that a non-precious metal catalyst, molybdenum sulfide, had a 51 percent energy efficiency. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology supported this work.
Originally posted by LanternOfDiogenes
to exist with our environment rather than subvert it
US researchers say they have demonstrated how cells fuelled by bacteria can be "self-powered" and produce a limitless supply of hydrogen. Until now, they explained, an external source of electricity was required in order to power the process.