Clean Energy From Tiny Organisms
Renewable sources of energy—such as hydrogen—that don’t produce greenhouse gases are needed to solve global energy shortages. Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—are nonrenewable energy sources implicated in global climate change.
A new green technology developed cooperatively by ARS and us at North Carolina State University (NC State) could lead to production of hydrogen from nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The patent invention could provide a source of hydrogen for use in fuel-cell technology. Fuel-cell devices combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity and water and are considered efficient, quiet, and pollution free. Fuel cells are now being tested in a range of products, including automobiles that release no emissions other than water vapor. ARS scientists Paul Bishop and Telisa Loveless and NC State scientists Jonathan Olson and José M. Bruno-Bárcena developed the technology, which is now available for licensing