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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 5, No. 1, January 31, 2010
ISSN 1932-3018

Hydrogen producing bacteria
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with the prospects for a store of energy - hydrogen as produced by genetically modified bacteria. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it shows how information processing can create organisms to produce matter (hydrogen) to serve as energy store.
The growing interest in renewable energy systems has focused attention on hydrogen as an energy store. Hydrogen can be produced in different ways:
  • Chemically - a reaction between acid and metal
  • Electrolysis - using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen
  • Biophotolysis - using microalgae and cyanobacteria to release hydrogen from water
Some years ago advances were reported in using E. Coli bacteria. (Zyga, L. "E. Coli Turns Sugar into Hydrogen Fuel" Inventorspot, January 30, 2008.)
A research team lead by Prof. Thomas Wood, a professor of chemical engineering at Texas A and M University, has modified the genetic structure of E. Coli to enable it to digest sugar. The modification involved removing six of the 5000 genes from the bacteria's DNA - fundamentally information processing. "Currently, the E. coli strain can produce 140 times more hydrogen than is created in naturally occurring processes…."
However, to provide energy for a home would require 175 pounds of sugar per day. Technology explorer’s can expect researchers to aim at (i) a reduction of 90% or more in sugar consumption, (ii) in situ production of hydrogen rather than production and transportation, and (iii) capitalizing on the simple production process in which "hydrogen bubbles up from the bacteria solution".

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.