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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Green Pee: Our Energy Future

The hydrogen economy goes down the toilet: Energy experts have mixed opinions on whether hydrogen might make sense as a portable fuel of the future. It can be made using electricity from renewable sources, which is good, but the process is inefficient and requires fresh water, which is already in short supply in many areas of the globe. All of which makes a recent paper on an alternate method of producing hydrogen rather intriguing. The method dispenses with splitting water entirely and instead generates hydrogen from one of the things that frequently ends up fouling water: urine or, more specifically, the urea it contains. Getting urea to break down and liberate hydrogen requires much less energy input, but still faces a substantial challenge: namely, getting to it before bacteria have the chance to metabolize it.

link: Weird science discovers that beer could power our future - Ars Technica


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