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Manipulating bacteria is key to generating hydrogen from waste-water plants

There are good bacteria and bad bacteria in a waste-water plant. The good bugs can generate lots of hydrogen that can be captured and used to power fuel-cell vehicles or generate electricity. But the bad bugs like to pig out on the hydrogen, so very little would be left over for the FCX or Sequel when they go into production (click those links to read AutoblogGreen's drive reports). Killing the bad bugs isn't difficult but does require heat generated by an expensive, energy-intensive process. Luckily, a pair of scientists from the University of Toronto don't like the bad bugs. They discovered that dried sludge pellets mixed in with the primary sludge helps kill off the bad microbes and generate hydrogen. If the process can be perfected and easily applied to waste-water plants, municipalities could produce electricity for the grid in addition to managing solid waste, or the hydrogen could be stored for use in fuel-cell vehicles.

[Source: Tyler Hamilton / Toronto Star]

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