Monday, April 12, 2010

The good side of the water energy nexus: Viruses produce hydrogene from water?


A scientifc news flash on a new way to produce energy with viruses and water:

«A team of MIT researchers has found a novel way to mimic the process by which plants use the power of sunlight to split water and make chemical fuel to power their growth. In this case, the team used a modified virus as a kind of biological scaffold that can assemble the nanoscale components needed to split a water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Splitting water is one way to solve the basic problem of solar energy: It's only available when the sun shines. By using sunlight to make hydrogen from water, the hydrogen can then be stored and used at any time to generate electricity using a fuel cell, or to make liquid fuels (or be used directly) for cars and trucks.»

The process is not operational yet, as hydrogen atoms are split into constituent protons and electrons. The team still has to find a way to reassemble them into a hydrogen atom.

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