HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Powering the seafloor

MICROORGANISMS in the seafloor may soon be producing an unlimited supply of electricity to power equipment such as sensors and sonar beacons. It comes from a fuel cell developed with funding from the US Department of Defense, which taps into a natural voltage gradient at the bottom of the ocean.

Bugs living in seawater, or on the top layer of seafloor sediments, use oxygen to break down organic matter, releasing energy as they go. Those that live further down where there is no oxygen, have to rely on other chemicals, such as nitrates and sulphates.

These different reactions create an electrical potential difference, just like the voltage between opposite electrodes of a battery. Clare Reimers at Oregon State University in Corvallis and Leonard Tender of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC decided to harness this in a fuel cell, to provide an endless source of electrical energy.

Their lab prototype uses a negatively charged electrode buried in about 10 centimetres of sediment with a positively charged partner just above the surface.

When the electrodes are connected, they generate 003 watts per square metre, enough power to run a small light emitting diode. And the tireless work of microbes means that the power supply should be never-ending. "That is incredibly cool," says Deborah Bronk, a microbiologist at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Reimers is experimenting to increase the cell's power. In the spring, divers will install similar fuel cells in real ocean sediments. Later versions could be designed to bury themselves.


'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-20-7331-2751
New Scientist
1-Feb-2000


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. URI oceanographers to build laboratory to study subseafloor life
2. Analysis of impact studies reveals how bottom fishing affects seafloor denizens
3. Huge new hydrothermal vent system found on seafloor

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/3/2020)... ... September 03, 2020 , ... ... today announced that an extensive third-party assessment of the company’s security practices has ... measured against federal security regulations. The comprehensive evaluation reviewed Litmus’ processes and systems, ...
(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... ... targeting mitochondria, in partnership with Essex Bio-Technology, a bio-pharmaceutical company specializing in ... 3 VISTA-2 study of SkQ1 ophthalmic solution in patients with moderate to ...
(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... Modality Solutions, a biopharmaceutical ... annual Inc. 5000 list. The list is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s ... and for this year’s list, reported three-year revenue growth of 71 percent. , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/22/2020)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... July 22, 2020 , ... Join ... and John Lorenc, Sr. Manager Regulatory Solutions, in a one hour live webinar ... is the regulating body in China for drugs and medical devices. Specifically, for medical ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 08, 2020 , ... ... services and products, announces a significant expansion of laboratory operations through its ... for agencies implementing testing programs. , Bode-CARES provides a turnkey ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 06, 2020 , ... Bio-IT World has announced the ... Squibb, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mission: Cure, and the Pistoia ... program, highlighting outstanding examples of how technology innovations and strategic initiatives can be ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... researchers are racing to develop a vaccine or drug treatment. In an effort ... Recursion has publicly released the world’s largest imaging dataset portraying therapeutic compound ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: