Bacteria that turn sugar into hydrogen being engineered by researchers


Macquarie University researchers have teamed up with BOC Australia and Bioplatforms Australia to genetically engineer bacteria that turn sugar into hydrogen (H2).

The project has received a $1.1m grant from ARENA, the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Agency. The three-year grant from ARENA is being matched by an additional $1.7m in further funding and in-kind support for the research.

“There’s global interest in using H2 gas to produce electricity in H2 fuel cells, for example to power vehicles, heat buildings or provide electricity for industry,” said Professor Robert Willows, who is one of the project leaders. “It’s a clean and efficient energy source.”

While 95% of the H2 used worldwide currently is produced from fossil fuels, increasingly people are looking at how to produce H2 from renewables.

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