April 7, 2008

Algae could be 'major' hydrogen fuel source

Algae could be a "major hydrogen fuel source" in the future, according to scientific researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DoE) Argonne National Laboratory.

Researchers at the laboratory are currently working to chemically manipulate algae in order to produce hydrogen gas.

Commenting on the research, Argonne senior chemist David Tiede said: "We believe there is a fundamental advantage in looking at the production of hydrogen by photosynthesis as a renewable fuel. Right now, ethanol is being produced from corn, but generating ethanol from corn is a thermodynamically much more inefficient process."

According to a statement released yesterday, researchers at the lab believe that algae could potentially produce as much hydrogen gas as oxygen.

Mr Tiede added that research was only in its early stages at the moment, but said the Argonne team were confident of achieving their research goals.

The Argonne National Laboratory is one of the US DoE's largest research centres.


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