New Biofuel Cells: Electricity From Hydrogen and Thin Air

bio-fuel-cell-powered-watch-bg.jpgScience Daily reports that British scientists have developed a “biofuel cell” that generates electricity from air spike with small amounts of hydrogen. These cells are an inexpensive, renewable alternative to “fuel cells” that have been closely associated with the “hydrogen economy”. At a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, Fraser Armstrong, described how his research group at Oxford University built the biofuel cell with hydrogenases — enzymes from naturally occurring bacteria that use or oxidize hydrogen in their metabolism.


The cell consists of two electrodes coated with the enzymes placed inside a container of ordinary air with 3 percent added hydrogen. That is just below the 4 percent danger level at which hydrogen becomes an explosion hazard. The research established for the first time that it is possible to generate electricity from such low levels of hydrogen in air, Armstrong said. Prototype versions of the cell produced enough electricity to power a wristwatch and other electronic devices. Armstrong foresees advanced versions of the device as potential power sources for an array of other electronic products that only require low amounts of power.

Via Science News Daily via Alternative Energy Info

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