backtop


Print 40 comment(s) - last by rangerdavid.. on Apr 15 at 11:05 AM

The team used xylose -- a simple plant sugar

Virginia Tech researchers have found a way to produce large amounts of hydrogen inexpensively using a simple plant sugar.

Y.H. Percival Zhang, study leader and an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, and his team have produced large quantities of hydrogen in an effort to lessen the dependence of fossil fuels.

Zhang and his team used xylose in the study, which is a sugar first isolated from wood. Not only is this form of hydrogen production inexpensive and environmentally friendly, but it can also occur using any source of biomass. 

Up until now, producing hydrogen gas from biomass was a costly process that didn't yield very much in the end.


For this study, Zhang and his team liberated the hydrogen under normal atmospheric pressure and mild reaction conditions at 122 degrees. A group of enzymes -- which were isolated from various microorganisms at extreme temperatures -- were used as biocatalysts to release the hydrogen.

The team used xylose to release the hydrogen, which hasn't been used much in the past because most scientists use natural or engineered microorganisms. These cannot create large quantities of hydrogen because the microorganisms grow and reproduce instead of splitting water molecules for the creation of pure hydrogen.

The energy stored in Xylose splits water molecules, thus creating very pure hydrogen that can be used by proton-exchange membrane fuel cells.

The team separated some of the enzymes from their native microorganisms to create a special enzyme mixture.  When the enzymes were combined with xylose and a polyphosphate, a large amount of hydrogen was liberated from the xylose.

In fact, the team produced about three times as much hydrogen as other hydrogen-producing microorganisms.

“Our new process could help end our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Zhang. "Hydrogen is one of the most important biofuels of the future.”

Source: Virginia Tech News



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: One problem...
By deltaend on 4/7/2013 11:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I fixed my problem with oil years ago.


Right, because LPG gas isn't derived from oil at all... You are simply trading one oil product for another here. We need to be off of oil, not swapping our dependence from one type to another.


RE: One problem...
By Tibbz on 4/9/2013 9:23:54 AM , Rating: 1
^^This i was scratching my head at that comment. Though US has an overwhelming abundance of Natural Gas and that will be a good patch if its further developed; but only to drive down fuel costs and overseas dependancy.... not much of an environmental benefit for what it is worth. Other than that Hydrogen is the way to go


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki