Welcome to the Energy Blog


  • The Energy Blog is where all topics relating to The Energy Revolution are presented. Increasingly, expensive oil, coal and global warming are causing an energy revolution by requiring fossil fuels to be supplemented by alternative energy sources and by requiring changes in lifestyle. Please contact me with your comments and questions. Further Information about me can be found HERE.

    Jim


  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE ENERGY BLOG BY EMAIL

After Gutenberg

Clean Break

The Oil Drum

Statistics

Blog powered by Typepad

« Big Business Says Addressing Climate Change 'Rates Very Low on Agenda' | Main | Do We Need Yucca Mountain? »

January 30, 2008

Comments

Fifi

Hydrogen from glucose. Big deal ...

Show me an E. Coli that produces butanol or long alkanes directly from raw lignocellulosic feedstock at high concentration and it will matter. But hydrogen, pfff ....

bob

I used to know this guy, he's gotten himself into trouble in the past breaking NDAs to brag about his work. Wonder if he's digging himself into a hole letting this out ...

Anyways, I'm not sure if this is worth changing your view on H2 over. If he's ultimately fermenting the sugar, won't there be other compounds coming out of the bacteria sludge (most notably sulfur compounds) to ruin your expensive fuel cell?

Emperor

i am just a little curious as to what measures are taken to prevent the solution from acidifying and killing off the bacterium. as you produce hydrogen in solution, you are, at least in part, producing a large amount of mobile hydrogen ion's in solution. This should increase the ph, ultimately leading to he bacterium's demise. It sounds like a great idea, especially if it were to become a do it yourself system.

mouseplatterman

On the website this linked to, it said they hoped to get the amount of sugar required for the average home's 24 hr electricity to 8 kilograms. By my calculations, that comes out to a $156 monthly bill--more than twice the average monthly bill of the present day.

Not quite cost-efficient.

Carpet Cleaning

Very interesting. I courious the health consquences of having E. coli for comercial use. I would not want to be the mechanic working on that car.

petr

talking about the cost of sugar- Americans pay 4x what the rest of the world does thanks to the US govt subsidies to Big Sugar and import restrictions of foreign sugar.

Clee

Most strains of E. coli are harmless, including the ones that live in your gut. I expect the biofuel researchers are using harmless strains.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_coli

Dr Who?

Regarding Prof Woods work if you actually look at his results they are complete rubbish. The wild type (or non-genetically modified strain) produces virtually nothing in terms of hydrogen. In reality wild-type strain such as MG1655 can easility produce more hydrogen than this, therefore his 140 fold increase next to nothing looks impressive. In fact his results for all of his papers are nothing exciting. Researcher in the hydrogen community will identify this as complete spin.

Secondly the mutants he used were from the Keio collection, I doubt very much that that would allow him to use their knock-outs them commerciliase the technology due to MTA's.

In response to the pH issue, E.coli inhabits the colon that readily decreases the pH to 2-3. E.coli can adapt to these conditions so acid poisoning would slow the growth rate but certainly not kill them, unless you go below 2.

The bacteria used to make hydrogen have will have had all of their virulence genes removed, so a mechanic could effectively eat this strain and not be too bothered the next day with bad tummy's.

I must reiterate Woods results look great, but at the moment we are working on hydrogen and know all about his work. We are 10,000 times better in terms of his best hydrogen results, and our system is still being deveoped where no process optimisation has been done to date.

Kit P

Say Who, I have a question regarding first and second base. If AD is being used to produce energy, would more energy per cubic foot be derived from controlling pH to suppress methane production or maximize methane production?

Keith

Bob sounds like a jerk. First he tries to speculate on IP issues without knowing anything about the engineered E. coli he speaks about for hydrogen production, and he insinuates that Dr. Wood has acted inappropriately in the past, once again based on absolute ignorance of the situation (he sounds like a washed up academic who never produced anything of value himself). Then he incorrectly indicates there would be sulfur wastes. In fact, the engineered E. coli only produce CO2 and H2 as gases and the CO2 does not harm the fuel cell (no other wastes would get to the fuel cell). See the demonstration video on Prof. Wood's web site where an electrical fan is powered from E. coli cells and a fuel cell without any cleaning technology. I also know Prof. Wood and he has more integrity than anyone else in the field.

Second, Dr. Hydrogen is disingenuous. Prof. Wood has simply produced the BEST bacterium to date for making hydrogen and has let the whole world judge it by publishing about it. If Dr. Hydrogen has a better strain then he should publish about like Prof. Wood, otherwise it is simply boasting on his part and his review is rubbish. And he is absolutely wrong about MG165 producing more hydrogen. The strain Dr. Wood uses is a derivative of MG1655 which does not produce much hydrogen until it was engineered by Prof. Wood.

-Keith

Kit P

Well Keith “I also know Prof. Wood and he has more integrity than anyone else in the field.” is not saying very much since the field HFCV is particularly short on integrity.

It is a very misleading statement to say “140 times more hydrogen than is created in a naturally occurring process”. Well Duh!!!

I have no problem with college professors making silly claims to keep the grant money coming in, but Keith skillful lying is not an indication of integrity.

Keith

Kit, you give no example of lying. And more importantly, you fail to mention a better bacterium for producing hydrogen, which is the point of the article. Clearly others will make better strains in the future, but for the moment, this one is special.

I notice that most of this site are quick to condemn (on a personal basis) and light on facts.

Kit P

“I notice that most of this site are quick to condemn (on a personal basis) and light on facts.”

Like this Keith,
“Bob sounds like a jerk.”
So Keith, you do not think making misleading claims is a form of skillful lying?

And Keith bacteria metabolizing sugar in the lab is one thing but you would think that real life organic waste might have a few thing that would produce hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. In any case, I am interested which produce more controlling for H2 or CH4?

It is a thermodynamic thing that does not require rocket science just simple (if you are a civil/environmental engineer) mass and energy balance. This is not a trick question, just intellectual curiosity. How much of the VS (volatile solids) is converted to H2 compared to CH4 in a conventional AD and how much N goes out the vent as N2 and how much is available as organic fertilizer.

Bill Mosby

Seems to be about as much "he said", "he said" on this site as anywhere else. Does anybody out there really know what's going on? How would one tell?

Keith

Bill,

Good point. It is called peer review. Prof. Wood's claims have been reviewed by experts (not bloggers) and published by outstanding journals. There is no deception. He simply measured the hydrogen formed before and after the genetic engineering. He has not claimed that this is a panacea, only indicated it is a step in the right direction. And sulfur does not enter the gas phase, and the gas phase is what is sent to the fuel cell (only H2 and CO2 are formed as shown by gas chromatography and mass balance).

Obviously Kit P is unable to demonstrate there is a better strain (in a quantifiable way) yet continues to speak of "misleading claims". A fine tool for the intellectually weak: just make vague references to imply something is wrong without having anything factual basis. I disdain those who practice character assassination rather than scientific ideals. Again, it is not about personality, it is about how much hydrogen is made.

Kit P

“How would one tell?”

Bill you would set up a scale test to process the waste and report the rate of production and the ratio of gases. Pretty routine and boring. This is why I am skeptical when a researcher makes claims in prese releases that only tell part of the story. The good news is the operation was a success, the bad new is the patient died.

“Obviously Kit P is unable to demonstrate there is a better strain (in a quantifiable way) yet continues to speak of "misleading claims".”

There are millions of commercial AD producing methane from organic waste, zero produce H2 as a fuel. When an AD starts producing more H2 that is an indication of problems.

What Professor Woods is doing is comparing his impractical methods with other impractical methods, without reporting a comparison to existing standard methods.

Abram730

I'm glad somebody took up this idea.

The ideas (i) and presuppositions(p).

(p)Hydrogen would be the ideal fuel.

problems include storage and leakage, (i)so on demand hydrogen would be better. Preferably in lower pressure environment so leakage could be reduced and detected. (p)(leaking of hydrogen at a conservative rate equal to natural gas leakage would be worse then global warming from computer models)

(p)extracting electrons using E.coli to produce energy is a good idea, but output seems limited so far.

(i)if you could both extract electrons breaking down fuel and produce hydrogen gas then the efficiency would be much greater by creating energy with the hydrogen. The fusion of the two ideas. A 2 stage extraction process.

carbon could be a carrier for the hydrogen(Green).
****************
Commercially viable and green.
Commercially it is tied to a fuel that can be sold. monetary systems are based on scarcity and thus tied to controllable commodities.

an ultimate goal would be to convert chemical energy into electric current without pollution. The more efficient the process the more the commodity can cost. The more the commodity cost the higher the profit considering it's real scarcity.

Consider that only around 15% of the energy in fuel moves a car and a tank of gas has about the equivalent caloric energy of the food required to keep a person alive for a year. So that's a lot of energy in a tank of gas and this brings up the question, is gas too expensive or are cars to fuel inefficient? So boosting the percent of energy extracted can be seen as adding inherent value to the fuel. Seems like one has to make doing the right thing more profitable then doing the wrong thing as people will choose wrong over right without substantial incentive.

How about ideas and not just criticism?

Ritaroys

This article is good. I also read another article on producing bio-fuel from E. Coli. BAteria is no more just only harmful. Check out the article in the below link.
http://www.kanbal.com/index.php?/Latest/e-coli-bacteria-powered-bio-fuel.html

Ritaroys

This article is good. I also read another article on producing bio-fuel from E. Coli. BAteria is no more just only harmful. Check out the article in the below link.
http://www.kanbal.com/index.php?/Latest/e-coli-bacteria-powered-bio-fuel.html

Amelia

This sounds like a promising endeavor to me, the next step would have to me investing on the project at the right place and time.

andrew french

A closed loop system is necessary for optimum energy conservation and production. With bio fuel the glycerine by-product has driven commercial glycerine prices to the floor. Maybe
a cradle to grave approach should be taken into consideration-turn glycerine into a fuel, as well as the trans esterfied LCFA's. It's like chopping down a rain forrest to grow carbon neutral fuel oil why bother. The short term fix is one thing, but the long term solution is the other.

4x4 Trucks

E. coli uses mixed-acid fermentation in anaerobic conditions, producing lactate, succinate, ethanol, acetate and carbon dioxide. Since many pathways in mixed-acid fermentation produce hydrogen gas, these pathways require the levels of hydrogen to be low, as is the case when E. coli lives together with hydrogen-consuming organisms such as methanogens or sulfate-reducing bacteria.

Truck campers

Classic cars

E. coli uses mixed-acid fermentation in anaerobic conditions, producing lactate, succinate, ethanol, acetate and carbon dioxide. Since many pathways in mixed-acid fermentation produce hydrogen gas, these pathways require the levels of hydrogen to be low, as is the case when E. coli lives together with hydrogen-consuming organisms such as methanogens or sulfate-reducing bacteria.


Stretch limousine

Recreational vehicles

it is a great stuff and will help increase the capacity of the electric cars ..it can also used at good effect to lighten the house ..

frauen

And Keith bacteria metabolizing sugar in the lab is one thing but you would think that real life organic waste might have a few thing that would produce hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. In any case, I am interested which produce more controlling for H2 or CH4?

Furniture Stores Burbank

Who would have figured E. Coli might be good for something other than food poisoning! Lol

Auto Lease Los Angeles

Ew I hate E Coli, glad it might actually be useful!

Air Purifiers

Some of the people on here seem to think the doctor is lying about his claims- what's the difference between lying and wanting something to be true, even if it isn't yet? Don't all scientists start out with a claim or goal, it's not true until they can actually back up their claims, but it's not called lying, is it?

Reversing sensors

I wonder how he came up with the idea to use E. Coli

SEO Services

I would not mind a little fermentor in my house! Anything to help out.

Tours of the Vatican

Well risk while transporting hydrogen wouldn't be good, I think that converting on site could be a great idea!

acting classes los angeles

Why have we not heard more about this?? It sounds great.

Office 2010

The new President will have to embrace this exact plan if the United States is to avoid economic catastrophe.

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .




Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles