Feeds

Scientists build caramel-powered margarine-making fuel cell

Cadbury's E. coli hydrogen fermenter

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Scientists from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have found that waste from confectionery production could be used to produce useful amounts of hydrogen for electricity generation. The feasibility study used sugar-rich waste from a Cadbury's factory to power a fuel cell.

E. coli bacteria in a five litre vessel fermented run-off from nougat and caramel production lines to produce hydrogen. A second culture of Rhodobacter sphaeroides was added to increase the yield of the reaction.

Adding palladium turns what little waste does remain into a useful catalyst that can be used in removing PCB pollutants from the environment, making fuel-cell electrodes, or for hydrogenation for products like margarine.

An assessment by a bioprocesses consultancy said the set-up could be scaled up to produce industrial quantities of carbon-free fuel.

Project leader Lynne Macaskie of Birmingham University said: "Although only at its initial stages, we've demonstrated a hydrogen-producing, waste-reducing technology that, for example, might be scaled up in five to 10 years time for industrial electricity generation and waste treatment."

Work is ongoing by the EPSRC to turn the principles proven in this work into practical generation projects. There's a video of the technology in action here. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.