Bacteria belches to power batteries?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 16, 2006 - 12:11 PM |

Meet Shewanella oneidensis at CNET, a metal munching bacteria that literally poops power.  With more study, and perhaps a bit of tweaking, this micro organism could be put into fuel cells to increase their life.   They could keep the liquid in the cells from becoming contaminated by excess waste and turn in into free electrons.

"Researchers at Rice University and the University of Southern California have embarked on a

project to harness the power of Shewanella oneidensis, a microorganism that essentially spits

lightning. Rather than consume oxygen to turn food into energy, Shewanella consumes metals.

The waste product of its metabolic process comes in the form of excess electrons stripped from

the metals but not recombined in subsequent chemical reactions. The bacteria lives in soil, water

and other environments and can extract its necessary nutrients from a variety of materials."

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