News Stories

Fuel from Garbage

We soon may be able to run our cars ontrash. Willhydrogen fuelever become a reality? It will if you?re willing to run yourcar ongarbage. Andother researchers are developing a car that runs on solarpower!

In the November 12 edition of the Telegraph, Roger Highfieldreports that ?the problem is that most hydrogen availabletoday is produced by expensive processes that require theburning of polluting fossil fuels, such as natural gas.?This produces as many (or more) greenhouse gas emissions assubstituting hydrogen from gasoline prevents.

But scientists have now developed a bacteria that canproduce hydrogen fuel from any kind of organic matter.Researcher Bruce Logan has designed a tabletop reactor thatuses bacteria to break down biodegradable organic material(another word for garbage). Adding a small jolt of energy tothe system causes hydrogen gas to bubble up to the surface.

While it works in the laboratory, "Scale-up will be theproblem," says co-researcher Lars Angenent. "This must becommercially viable while sustaining high efficiencies."

Solar power is the ideal fuel?too bad we can?t figure out away to run ourcars on it. But a team of engineers is doing just that.

Using concentrated solar energy, The Sandia research teamcalls this approach ?Sunshine to Petrol? (S2P). ?LiquidSolar Fuel? is the end product ? the methanol, gasoline, orother liquid fuel made from water and the carbon monoxideproduced using solar energy.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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