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Novel sugar-to-hydrogen technology promises transportation fuel independence
Virginia Tech News ^ | 5/23/06 | Susan Trulove

Posted on 05/25/2007 9:24:25 AM PDT by HangnJudge

snip. Researchers at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the University of Georgia propose using polysaccharides, or sugary carbohydrates, from biomass to directly produce low-cost hydrogen for the new hydrogen economy.

snip. Using synthetic biology approaches, Zhang and colleagues Barbara R. Evans and Jonathan R. Mielenz of ORNL, and Robert C. Hopkins and Michael W.W. Adams of the University of Georgia, are using a combination of 13 enzymes never found together in nature to completely convert polysaccharides (C6H10O5) and water into hydrogen when and where that form of energy is needed. This “synthetic enzymatic pathway” research appears in the May 23 issue of PLoS ONE, the online, open-access journal from the Public Library of Science.
snip. The vision is for the ingredients to be mixed in the fuel tank of your car, for instance. A car with an approximately 12-gallon tank could hold 27 kilograms (kg) of starch, which is the equivalent of 4 kg of hydrogen. The range would be more than 300 miles, Zhang estimates. One kg of starch will produce the same energy output as 1.12 kg (0.38 gallons) of gasoline

snip. So it is environmentally friendly, energy efficient, requires no special infrastructure, and is extremely safe. We have killed three birds with one stone,” he said. “We have hydrogen production with a mild reaction and low cost. We have hydrogen storage and transport in the form of starch or syrups. And no special infrastructure is needed

(Excerpt) Read more at vtnews.vt.edu ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: energy; fuel; hydrogen; sugar
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Getting Closer....
Any process to stop the flow of money into the Islamists is OK with me
1 posted on 05/25/2007 9:24:26 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

Dang...there goes the price of sugar now...


2 posted on 05/25/2007 9:28:22 AM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: HangnJudge

I’m with you on that, btw. I was just being facetious...


3 posted on 05/25/2007 9:29:10 AM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: HangnJudge

So this means you drive around with some syrup in your tank, converting it to hydrogen as needed, rather than driving around with a big tank of hydrogen ready to explode? Sounds good.

Then you need another tank to convert cellulose into glucose and things will really be good - organic cars powered by termites and bacteria.

Mrs VS


4 posted on 05/25/2007 9:29:48 AM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: HangnJudge

Now’s the time to go long on Dairy Queen stock?


5 posted on 05/25/2007 9:32:07 AM PDT by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
Then you need another tank to convert cellulose into glucose and things will really be good - organic cars powered by termites and bacteria.

This is being worked on. I know personally some people burning the midnight oil on this.
6 posted on 05/25/2007 9:32:45 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: VeritatisSplendor

Who would have ever thoght sugar in the gas tank was a good thing?


7 posted on 05/25/2007 9:33:19 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: HangnJudge
One kg of starch will produce the same energy output as 1.12 kg (0.38 gallons) of gasoline

This is the important line. You don't want to carry around 20 pounds of stuff to get the effect of 1 pound of gasoline. The next hurdle to clear will be how this compares to gas when measured in terms of energy output per dollar. My guess is that gas is still much cheaper; but, as the price of this system comes down, and the price of gas goes up, that threshold will be crossed quickly enough.

8 posted on 05/25/2007 9:33:40 AM PDT by Redcloak (The 2nd Amendment isn't about sporting goods.)
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To: HangnJudge

Well that certainly takes all the fun out of pouring sugar in someone’s gas tank...


9 posted on 05/25/2007 9:33:46 AM PDT by Philistone (Your existence as a non-believer offends the Prophet(MPBUH).)
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To: HangnJudge

We aren’t any closer to partial, much less complete hydrogen usage than we were ten years ago, however, I am in complete agreement, that massive drilling everywhere there is oil within our territory, building of refineries, and nuclear power production should be first and foremost on any list that has even a particle of chance to stop the terrorist money flood to our sworn enemies.


10 posted on 05/25/2007 9:34:37 AM PDT by wita (truthspeaks@freerepublic.com)
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To: HangnJudge

11 posted on 05/25/2007 9:34:39 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: HangnJudge

This would be cool if it ever makes it to market.


12 posted on 05/25/2007 9:36:32 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: rlmorel
Dang...there goes the price of sugar now...

Hmmmm... who makes Domino Sugar?
13 posted on 05/25/2007 9:39:27 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

The Democrats will destroy the food supply of this country in the name of saving the environment.


14 posted on 05/25/2007 9:41:41 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Food is the new fuel, and not just for the human body.


15 posted on 05/25/2007 9:42:51 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: HangnJudge
I see a lot of carbon and oxygen as a byproduct here, what kind of soupy, gloopy mess is going to be left in the tank after everything is “digested” and needs to be removed?
16 posted on 05/25/2007 9:42:53 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading the article since 2004)
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To: wita
We aren’t any closer to partial, much less complete hydrogen usage than we were ten years ago

However, Iceland is making a go of it, with their nearly unlimited geothermal energy resources

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/archive/2208013.stm

17 posted on 05/25/2007 9:43:30 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

South Florida is a mecca for sugar.
It is more subsidized then any crop.
To harvest it they light the entire field on fire choking the air for as far as you can’t see.
Then the burned ashes flow into your water both above and below ground.
Then take into account the phosphates they use to fertalize it and I just can’t see it as the panacea.
What I can’t figure out is how they get away with it other then the f-ing e.p.a. isn’t doing their job.


18 posted on 05/25/2007 9:43:30 AM PDT by Joe Boucher
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To: Red Badger

ping


19 posted on 05/25/2007 9:44:24 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading the article since 2004)
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To: HangnJudge
We are arming our enemies via a disgraceful energy policy. Putting those SOBS back in tents and back on camels and making them inconsequential (save for when they do something Really Dumb (TM)) should be the new Manhattan project. No further good will ever come from that part of the world.

The environment bs garbage may be helpful for getting the useful idiots to be useful for the right side for once.

20 posted on 05/25/2007 9:44:26 AM PDT by M203M4 (What I wanna see is a pro-war ("kill the bastards") Ron Paul. Pacifism is suicide.)
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To: HangnJudge

If you put starch in the car and it converts it extracts energy from it, it seems that at some point the car will need to take a dump. I wonder how that is handled.


21 posted on 05/25/2007 9:44:43 AM PDT by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: Abathar
I see a lot of carbon and oxygen as a byproduct here, what kind of soupy, gloopy mess is going to be left in the tank after everything is “digested” and needs to be removed?

Yup, the carbon must go somewhere, and the article states that the next R&D step will be to increase reaction rates and reduce enzyme costs. Enzymes likely would not be consumed in the process and could be "recycled"
22 posted on 05/25/2007 9:47:21 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: VeritatisSplendor

Right. And if you want to make pancakes on a camping trip, you don’t need to bring syrup.


23 posted on 05/25/2007 9:48:43 AM PDT by MainFrame65
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To: HangnJudge
Getting Closer.... Any process to stop the flow of money into the Islamists is OK with me

I have a great idea!

Let's create massive food insecurity in the sacred name of imaginary "energy independence."

All in favor, follow me over this cliff!!!!!!

24 posted on 05/25/2007 9:55:22 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder." --Frederic Bastiat)
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To: rlmorel

Buddy, if we get off that raghead juice, it’ll be freaking Sweet N’ Low for me the rest of my life, no problem.


25 posted on 05/25/2007 9:55:32 AM PDT by domenad (In all things, in all ways, at all times, let honor guide me.)
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To: HangnJudge
I could see this first coming to market as a camping technology. Portable heater / power generator fueled by a bottle of syrup. The next step would be as an alternative for propane replacement ... though in colder climates, keeping the syrup thin enough to actually use may be a bit of a problem. Perhaps there might be a way to convert the syrup to pellets thus altering the problem.

Co-generation and off grid application could be next. Farmers could convert sugar beets or corn syrup on site to power their farms. All these technologies could be serviced with “syrup trucks”.

The next major step would be the adoption by fleet vehicles and a distribution system to support them. If the post office fleet were to have a large sugar or syrup tank back at their headquarters....???

26 posted on 05/25/2007 9:56:34 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: HangnJudge

Sweet!


27 posted on 05/25/2007 9:56:43 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: HangnJudge

So my car will be fed nothing but sugar? It’s “Grill” will be a mess. It will also probably get fat and develop diabetes. Has anyone considered these unintended consequences?


28 posted on 05/25/2007 9:59:29 AM PDT by MPJackal ("If you are not with us, you are against us.")
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To: Abathar
what kind of soupy, gloopy mess is going to be left in the tank after everything is “digested”

Yeah a car rectum would go well with a stinky catalytic converter.


BUMP

29 posted on 05/25/2007 10:00:30 AM PDT by capitalist229 (Get Democrats out of our pockets and Republicans out of our bedrooms.)
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To: Redcloak

Ah, but how much gasoline is used to produce, harvest and transport the starch?


30 posted on 05/25/2007 10:05:04 AM PDT by MWF054
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To: HangnJudge

Hey. This could mean a comeback of the sugar beet industry around here. Hmmm.


31 posted on 05/25/2007 10:06:38 AM PDT by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: HangnJudge

“Just add enzymes to a mixture of starch and water and “the enzymes use the energy in the starch to break up water into only carbon dioxide and hydrogen,” Zhang said.....A membrane bleeds off the carbon dioxide and the hydrogen is used by the fuel cell to create electricity.”

algore is deeply saddened.....


32 posted on 05/25/2007 10:10:01 AM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: HangnJudge

Some things seem too good to be true. Some major achievements are so simple we wonder why we didn’t think of it before.

Regardless, this or some other solution will someday arrive. And when it does, it will cripple all the camel jockeys wanting to destroy us because their oil money will be cut off and thus, their terror financing will be gone.

Most mideast oil countries don’t and probably won’t ever produce anything other than oil to support themselves.


33 posted on 05/25/2007 10:11:26 AM PDT by umgud ("When seconds count, the police are just 10 minutes away!")
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To: SampleMan

34 posted on 05/25/2007 10:14:12 AM PDT by Recovering Hermit (There's another old saying Senator..."Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.")
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To: SampleMan
If you put starch in the car and it converts it extracts energy from it, it seems that at some point the car will need to take a dump. I wonder how that is handled.

Umm. Probably big pits in rest areas with grates over them. An annular rubber valve affixed to the waste tank opens, accompanied by a warning grunting sound that means," Do not drive away for a minute".

35 posted on 05/25/2007 10:15:56 AM PDT by Gorzaloon (Global Warming: A New Kind Of Scientology for the Rest Of Us.)
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To: domenad

I’m with ya on that.


36 posted on 05/25/2007 10:18:57 AM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: Recovering Hermit

It’s nice of you to let her use a shovel!


37 posted on 05/25/2007 10:19:54 AM PDT by montomike (If you didn't find this funny and were offended...have a riot.)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
Then you need another tank to convert cellulose into glucose and things will really be good - organic cars powered by termites and bacteria.

Here's a lady riding her 1 CowPower organic car.

38 posted on 05/25/2007 10:21:40 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: MWF054
Ah, but how much gasoline is used to produce, harvest and transport the starch?

Transport and distribution issues are significant with oil also. Perhaps the harvesters / trucks could also run off the same stuff. The energy cost of fertilizer might be meaningful
39 posted on 05/25/2007 10:22:25 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge
Yup, the carbon must go somewhere, and the article states that the next R&D step will be to increase reaction rates and reduce enzyme costs. Enzymes likely would not be consumed in the process and could be "recycled"

And the carbon byproducts might well be good feedstock for the fertilizer or plastics industries.

40 posted on 05/25/2007 10:22:55 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: VeritatisSplendor; HangnJudge
So this means you drive around with some syrup in your tank, converting it to hydrogen as needed, rather than driving around with a big tank of hydrogen ready to explode? Sounds good.

Then you need another tank to convert cellulose into glucose and things will really be good - organic cars powered by termites and bacteria.

Polysaccharides like starch and cellulose are used by plants for energy storage and building blocks and are very stable until exposed to enzymes. Just add enzymes to a mixture of starch and water and “the enzymes use the energy in the starch to break up water into only carbon dioxide and hydrogen,” Zhang said.

A membrane bleeds off the carbon dioxide and the hydrogen is used by the fuel cell to create electricity. Water, a product of that fuel cell process, will be recycled for the starch-water reactor. Laboratory tests confirm that it all takes place at low temperature--about 86 degrees F--and atmospheric pressure.

. . . The research was based on Zhang’s previous work pertaining to cellulosic ethanol production and the ORNL and University of Georgia researchers’ work with enzymatic hydrogen production.


41 posted on 05/25/2007 10:24:11 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: M203M4
We are arming our enemies via a disgraceful energy policy. Putting those SOBS back in tents and back on camels and making them inconsequential (save for when they do something Really Dumb (TM)) should be the new Manhattan project.

I couldnt have said it better myself, and I tried:

"I'm not a global warming nut, but I think this country needs a major initiative to eliminate our dependance on fossil fuels. A manhattan project for our generation. If we succeed, the oil money will be cut off and the arab nations will, within a generation, go back to being irrelevant." http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1821957/posts?page=33#33

42 posted on 05/25/2007 10:29:35 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
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To: HangnJudge

and there was much rejoicing from the tortilla markets!


43 posted on 05/25/2007 10:30:09 AM PDT by Marko413
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To: HangnJudge

These nuts have gotta stop coming up with ways to convert food into gasoline substitutes. This is an environmentalists “feel good” approach to a non-existant problem. The only thing this accomplishes is a reduction in the food supply and an increase in the price we pay for the ingredients in our foods. If the greenies would get out of the way of progress, we could drill new wells and build new refineries and the price of fuel would go down.


44 posted on 05/25/2007 10:30:22 AM PDT by BuffaloJack
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To: Uncledave

Seems suitable for your renewable energy ping list. I’ll bump this for later reading.


45 posted on 05/25/2007 10:32:48 AM PDT by Kevmo (Duncan Hunter just needs one Rudy G Campaign Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVBtPIrEleM)
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To: MWF054

That’s why I’m curious about a comparison in terms of energy output per dollar. I’m betting that the stuff ain’t cheap; that a dollar’s worth of hydrogen from starch won’t take you anywhere near as far down the road as a dollar’s worth of gas.


46 posted on 05/25/2007 10:37:47 AM PDT by Redcloak (The 2nd Amendment isn't about sporting goods.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Then you need another tank to convert cellulose into glucose and things will really be good - organic cars powered by termites and bacteria.

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:O7CsUOFC0C0J:www.siemens-foundation.org/documents/2006-07NationalWinnersReleaseFINAL_000.pdf+scott+molony+siemen&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

In their winning team project, Linking Supercomputing and Systems Biology for Efficient Bioethanol Production, Scott Molony, Steven Arcangeli and Scott Horton contribute to a growing body of research on creating microrganisms that can produce alternative fuels. “This team used supercomputers to analyze biological networks, looking at tens of thousands of genes and their biological pathways to discover clues for engineering direct biofuel production by microorganisms,” said competition judge Dr. Gary Benson, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Department of Biology, Director of Graduate Studies Program in Bioinformatics, Boston University. “Through a real team effort and a sophisticated, interdisciplinary approach, they developed a promising method that takes us a step closer to engineering biofuel.” Based partly on the team’s work, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory received a major grant to continue this research. The team’s mentors were Dr. Nagiza Samatova, Mr. Chris Symons, Dr. Byung­Hoony Park, and Dr. Tatiana Karpinets, all with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The winning Science project with the Siemens Foundation competition was precisely on the subject, with meaningful results.

47 posted on 05/25/2007 10:38:21 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: RSmithOpt

Have a Blizzard and think about that a bit before making a rash move.


48 posted on 05/25/2007 10:38:49 AM PDT by MHGinTN (You've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: HangnJudge

I’m concerned about my car becoming diabetic.....


49 posted on 05/25/2007 10:41:22 AM PDT by WhiteGuy (GOP Congress - 16,000 earmarks costing US $50 billion in 2006 - PAUL2008)
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To: HangnJudge

Very promising. One question though, how does it do in sub freezing temperatures?


50 posted on 05/25/2007 10:42:52 AM PDT by Boiler Plate ("Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame." Benjamin Franklin)
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