DailyDirt: Alternative Energy
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Developing more sources of renewable energy to help replace (or supplement) our fossil-fueled economy seems like a worthwhile pursuit. Since nature has been doing renewable energy cycles for quite a bit longer than people have, plants and microbes might inspire some interesting ways to create fuels from sunlight. But even if the research doesn't pan out for practical energy solutions, we'll likely learn something interesting about biological processes. Here are a few quick links on alternative energy projects.
- Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a way to produce hydrogen from sunlight using photosynthetic plant proteins (from spinach). There are other ways to get hydrogen from solar power, so getting this proof-of-concept system to be cheap is, as usual, the real trick. [url]
- Geomicrobiologists may have found subterranean microbes that can extract hydrogen from rocks. The mechanism isn't clear yet, and a critical control experiment for these microbes still needs to be performed. Still, it's neat to see microbes that can catalyze chemical reactions at extreme conditions. [url]
- Wave energy can be captured very efficiently using a cycloidal turbine in 1:1300 scale experiments. Will it scale up? That's the $400,000 question, in this case. [url]
- To discover more stuff on alternative energy, check out what's currently floating around the StumbleUpon universe. [url]