Can Hydrogen bacteria Fill Gas Tanks?


A Russian-born scientist living in the U.S. state of Tennessee believes he may have found a solution to rising petrol costs – a cheap way to produce hydrogen.Biology Professor Sergey Markov from Austin Peay State University has discovered a way to produce hydrogen fuel for vehicles by using photosynthetic bacteria.


“This is very attractive for industrial application because photosynthetic bacteria can produce hydrogen using solar light and water and we have plenty of solar light and water around,” he said.

The specific purple bacteria Dr. Markov is referring to, grows in mud, ponds and lakes. The prototype bioreactor he built mixes the bacteria with carbon monoxide and water - and makes hydrogen.

Hydrogen is an attractive alternative fuel for the future. It’s is reusable, efficient and eco-friendly since when it burns it produces ordinary water and no greenhouse gases. However it’s explosive and requires special engines – problems yet to be solved.

Dr. Markov is now building a pilot scale bio-reactor – the prototype he has now is just too small for mass hydrogen production.

He's received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy - but says more finance and support is needed.


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