I keenly follow latest breakthroughs in biomedical science, neuroscience and bionanotechnology – I figure I could share some of that on this blog, if it’s something you’d like to see more, please let me know.
The Fuel Cell Bacteria: not only can Rhodopseudomonas palustris use light to create hydrogen, it’s also got an amazing superpower: munching on either volatile acids, yeast extract or thiosulphate, it can actually generate electricity (without the need for light). An R. palustris culture in a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) generates roughly 2.7W/m2, so there’s ample room for improvement (your average solar panel in the United States delivers 19 to 56 W/m2). Scientifically, this is a fascinating discovery – the team’s going to have a lot of fun (don’t laugh!) picking out the different metabolic modes in this bacteria capable of producing either hydrogen or electricity, and from loads of different inputs. Those landfill mountains of trash could be much less of a pain in the ass in the not so distant future… we may even be thanking this current generation for throwing so much good energy out (even if they curse us for impoverishing the Earth of a better fuel, namely petroleum).