Corn Stalks and Cobs Into Clean Hydrogen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Hydrogen has several demerits in coming to the energy market.  A primary issue for H2 critics – that hydrogen requires more energy to produce than it gives back – may have been answered by Dr. Percival Zhang of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering, which is in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering.  We’ve covered his work before, usually in terms of turning corn into biofuels or in finding biological ways to produce hydrogen with low energy input. Part of his exploratory mandate comes from his ECHo cycle.  “I wish to suggest constructing the electricity-carbohydrate-hydrogen (ECHo) cycle… could meet four basic needs of humans: air, water, food and energy, while minimizing environmental …

Increasing biofuel Production 20 Times

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

What if, instead of using corn to make ethanol, we were to use corn stover, the waste stalks, leaves and non-edible portions of the corn plant?  It’s not a new or novel idea, but Michigan State University researchers have taken a new direction in extracting energy from it. The East Lansing research team has managed to produce 20 times more energy than through the use of existing methods by using microbes to “produce biofuel and hydrogen, all while consuming agricultural wastes.” The method combines biological, chemical and electrical reactions to generate fuel and energy.  Gemma Regurera, an MSU microbiologist,” has developed bioelectrochemical systems known as microbial electrolysis cells, or MECs, using bacteria to break down and ferment agricultural waste into …