Karin Willquist, a doctoral student in Applied Microbiology at Lund University in Sweden will soon be presenting a thesis on the subject of a newly discovered bacterium that produces twice as much hydrogen gas as the bacteria currently used. The results show how, when and why the bacterium can perform its excellent work and increase the possibilities of competitive biological production of hydrogen gas.
Today hydrogen gas is used primarily for manufacturing chemicals sourced from natural gas, but a bright future is predicted by some for hydrogen as a vehicle fuel in combination with or simply in fuel cells. Hydrogen, the simplest atom is also the simplest store of energy. Used quickly hydrogen can be a great energy store as a fuel and easy to transport for use.
For climate neutral hydrogen gas production bacteria are added to forestry or household waste, using a method similar to biogas production such as methane. The major problem with this production method is that the hydrogen exchange is low, or its said that the raw materials generate little hydrogen gas.
Here’s where Willquist and her bacteria come in, “There are three important explanations for why this bacterium, which is called Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus (CS), produces more hydrogen gas than others. One is that it has adapted to a low-energy environment, which has caused it to develop effective transport systems for carbohydrates and the ability to break down inaccessible parts of plants with the help of enzymes. This in turn means it produces more hydrogen gas. The second explanation is that CS can cope with higher growth temperatures than many other bacteria. The higher the temperature, the more hydrogen gas can be formed.” The young lady is on to something. One’s waste production might go on to power a home fuel cell someday.
Willquist seems to understand the mountain climb that bio free hydrogen production requires. Her third point is that the CS bacterium can still produce hydrogen gas even in difficult conditions, for example high partial hydrogen pressure, which is necessary if biological hydrogen gas production is to be financially viable.
One issue has come up; the bacterium does not like high concentrations of salt or hydrogen gas. These affect the signaling molecules in the bacterium and, in turn, the metabolism in such a way that it produces less hydrogen gas. Willquist points out, “But it is possible to direct the process so that salt and hydrogen gas concentrations do not become too high.”
This bright student realizes another overlooked matter. When hydrogen is used as an energy carrier, water is the only by-product. But hydrogen gas production alone when done by a conventional method, consumes large amounts of energy, which means hydrogen gas is still not a very environmentally friendly energy carrier.
Here’s Willquist’s argument for more progress with her bacteria. Methane reformation or electrolysis of water are currently the most common ways to produce hydrogen gas. But methane gas is not so easily renewable just yet and using fossil sources leads to increased carbon dioxide emissions. Electrolysis requires electrical energy, usually acquired from fossil fuels, but also sometimes from wind or solar power. Hydrogen gas can also be generated from wind power, which is an environmentally friendly alternative, even if wind power is controversial for other reasons. These paths are under intense research, as we know.
Willquist predicts, “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.” If she’s getting CO² as well she has a better process than she might realize.
The favorite example and one Willquist uses is, “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.” Which is a great idea when a carbon source is lacking or too expensive.
Congratulations for Willquist – Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus was isolated for the first time in 1987 in a hot spring in New Zealand. It is only recently that researchers have really begun to realize the potential of the bacterium. There’s a long way to go . . .
But as the estimable Al Fin observed, CO² just might get rather dear some day, leading to a “peak CO²” situation. The temptation for a laugh is hard to suppress, but Mr. Fin will be right – for example the list of nuclear plants outside the U.S. in planning for construction is astounding – or that its getting so that the most interesting leading edge research idea are coming from outside the U.S.
I can’t resist – how’s that ‘change to a new economy’ working out for the U.S.?
Original post: New Energy and Fuel
Well, it’s been a while in coming, and the selection isn’t complete, but it’s a good start…Now you can download to rent or own, shorter versions of the DVD’s. I’ve taken the “Troubleshooting Heat Pump Electrical Systems” DVD, and divided it into 20-30ish minute sections that are available to rent for a couple of bucks or buy for $10. The download service is provided through Amazon.Com “Video On Demand”.
There are five downloads to choose from:
#1. Review of electrical wiring and operation #2. Troubleshooting open control voltage circuits #3. Troubleshooting control voltage short circuits and defrost controls #4. Troubleshooting air handler controls, reversing valves and contactors #5. Troubleshooting fan, blower and compressor motors, capacitors, condenser high voltage problems
When you click on the link below, you’ll get to the Amazon page where the available downloads are listed. You can get a free 2 minute preview, after which you make the decision whether or not to download the rental. Keep in mind, the process will only work effectively with high speed internet connections. Also keep in mind, once you get to the Amazon site, you’re playing by their rules…I have no control whatsoever over the site mechanics, prices or payment methods. It is simply an effort on my part to provide another purchasing option for the heat pump video training material.
Original post here: Wayne Shirley HVAC Tips
May 28, 2010 ELV Systems
Happy Memorial Day, from all of us here at Home Controls.
As a notice, our San Diego store will be closed on Memorial Day.
HomeControls.com will still be open for orders.
All web orders will be processed Tuesday morning.
As always, thank you for your business.
The original post is created by: Home Controls