From where we are standing today, hydrogen seems to be the answer for all our power needs in the future. It is clean from every form of greenhouse gases, and it is this ‘greenness’ that makes it so appealing for people.
Scientists and engineers all over the world are trying to find methods to produce hydrogen as cheap as possible. At the moment the largest amount of hydrogen is produced from hydrocarbons, but this is a quite expensive method and it cannot be used on a large scale.
Luckily, there are also some other alternatives as well.
Hydrogen from urine
There has been a team at the University of Ohio that managed to create a system that will turn urine into hydrogen. According to this new system, producing hydrogen from urine is just as simple as producing it from water.
At the beginning the tests have been made from dissolved urea, but later it has also been tested on human urine. The researchers believe that this could be a source of mass hydrogen production.
Hydrogen from rotten peaches
There is a microbe known as Thermotoga Neapolitana that is able to produce hydrogen from rotten peaches. Actually, it doesn’t produce hydrogen, but a gas by-product that is 80% hydrogen. This is because the peaches contain high levels of sugar.
Hydrogen from human waste
A new device has been created that is able to produce hydrogen from human waste. This system is using methane to produce three different streams of energy. It all seems to be wonderful, but there is one problem: the cost. It costs about $4,000-$5,000 for the device to produce 1KW of energy.
Hydrogen generated by bacteria
A researcher team at Penn University has created a way in which they can use bacteria to extract hydrogen from biodegradable organic matter. The hydrogen is produced by the bacteria through breaking down acetic acid into a microbial electrolysis cell.
Hydrogen generated by virus
M13 bacterial virus is being used by the researchers of MIT to produce hydrogen through splitting the molecules of water. This kind of process is a replica of photosynthesis in plants.
In our case the virus is considered to be the chlorophyll that captures the sunlight. The researchers of MIT believe that this way it would be possible to produce hydrogen on a large scale.
Hydrogen could also be made of algae, but in this case there is need for reversing the organisms’ compound of interests.