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Inexpensive Bacteria-Driven Battery Developed

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 725 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... FOOD SCRAPS TO POWER BACTERIA-DRIVEN BATTERY Reuters
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 12, 2002
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      FOOD SCRAPS TO POWER BACTERIA-DRIVEN BATTERY
      Reuters / Planet Ark
      Friday, October 11, 2002

      http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/18132/story.htm

      LONDON - Food scraps once consigned to the compost heap -- or the dog --
      could soon be powering a cheap bacteria-driven battery if British scientists
      have their way.

      Researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol have
      developed a microbial fuel cell about the size of a mobile phone that could
      be powered by organic household waste.

      "Right now, their fuel cell runs only on sugar cubes, since these produce
      almost no waste when broken down, but they aim to move on to carrot power,"
      New Scientist magazine said this week.

      Chris Melhuish and his team are using the cell to run a small
      light-sensitive robot but they said when a series of the cells are connected
      they could run domestic appliances.

      The bacteria-driven cell, which would cost about 10 pounds ($15), directly
      converts biochemical energy into electricity. It uses E.coli bacteria to
      break down carbohydrates and release hydrogen atoms.

      "The cell also contains chemicals that drive a series of redox, reduction
      and oxidation reactions, stripping electrons from the hydrogen atoms and
      delivering them steadily to the fuel cell's anode. This creates a voltage
      that can be used to power a circuit," the magazine said.

      Melhuish and his team said their organic battery can produce eight times as
      much energy as other microbial fuel cells.

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