Bioengineered Strain of E-Coli Produces Record Amount of Hydrogen

The bacteria that are usually associated with food poisoning can someday become a potential source of energy, helping power vehicles and homes.

Published: 31-Jan-2008

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A U.S. chemical engineer has "tweaked" a strain of E. coli so it produces about 140 times more hydrogen than is produced in naturally occurring processes.

Texas A&M University Professor Thomas Wood said he envisioned the bacteria that are usually associated with food poisoning as a potential source of energy, helping power vehicles and homes.

Currently, most hydrogen is produced by a process known as "cracking water," through which hydrogen is separated from the oxygen. But the process is expensive and requires great amounts of energy. Wood said his work with E. coli might change that.

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