Clean electricity

Sunday 31 March 2002

Some two decades ago, a researcher had created a stir in the scientific community by patenting a microbe that could clean up toxic dumps. Now researchers at University of Massachusetts, USA, have gone one step further by identifying bacteria that not only clean up organic waste but when used in deep sea exploration vehicles also produce electric power while cleaning. The bacteria, belonging to the Geobacteraceae family, work by removing the electrons from the carbon found in sea sediments. The electrons are dumped onto other elements or chemicals available in the sediment. But if the sediment is connected to an electrical circuit, the electrons flow in the circuit, leading to a current.

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