Hydrogen energy produced carbon-free from water and bacteria

A grain of salt or two may be all that microbial electrolysis cells need to produce hydrogen from wastewater or organic byproducts. There would be no need to add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or use grid electricity, new research has found. Hydrogen can be used to store energy, and can drive devices like vehicles.

“This system could produce hydrogen anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water,” said researchers from Pennsylvania State University. “It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy.”

The researchers used the difference between river water and seawater to add the extra energy needed to produce hydrogen. Their results “show that pure hydrogen gas can efficiently be produced from virtually limitless supplies of seawater and river water and biodegradable organic matter.”

Read more at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences