Space Superbugs Eyed As New Fuel Cell Power Source
A U.K.-based research team has created a fuel cell that can power a lightbulb, with the aid of a high flying bacteria found in the Earth’s atmosphere. Bacterially-run fuel cells may provide a cheap, portable source of energy for villages without electricity and they’re a potential source of green, nearly emissions-free energy for the future.
The research team, from Newcastle University, gathered bacteria from the River Wear in eastern England and tested the different species they found. To their surprise, their best electrician was a species called Bacillus stratosphericus, which usually likes to live in the stratosphere, about 10 to 30 miles above the Earth. Atmospheric cycling carried these airy denizens into the English estuary the Newcastle scientists visited.