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Page added on March 11, 2023

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Newly discovered enzyme that turns air into electricity

Alternative Energy

Australian scientists have discovered an enzyme that converts air into energy. The finding, published today in the journal Nature, reveals that this enzyme uses the low amounts of the hydrogen in the atmosphere to create an electrical current. This finding opens the way to create devices that literally make energy from thin air.


The research team, led by Dr. Rhys Grinter, Ph.D. student Ashleigh Kropp, and Professor Chris Greening from the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Melbourne, Australia, produced and analyzed a -consuming enzyme from a common soil bacterium.

Recent work by the team has shown that many bacteria use hydrogen from the atmosphere as an energy source in nutrient-poor environments. “We’ve known for some time that bacteria can use the trace hydrogen in the air as a source of energy to help them grow and survive, including in Antarctic soils, volcanic craters, and the deep ocean” Professor Greening said. “But we didn’t know how they did this, until now.”

In this Nature paper, the researchers extracted the enzyme responsible for using atmospheric hydrogen from a bacterium called Mycobacterium smegmatis. They showed that this enzyme, called Huc, turns hydrogen gas into an . Dr. Grinter notes, “Huc is extraordinarily efficient. Unlike all other known enzymes and chemical catalysts, it even consumes hydrogen below atmospheric levels—as little as 0.00005% of the air we breathe.”

The researchers used several cutting-edge methods to reveal the molecular blueprint of atmospheric hydrogen oxidation. They used (cryo-EM) to determine its and electrical pathways, pushing boundaries to produce the most resolved enzyme structure reported by this method to date. They also used a technique called electrochemistry to demonstrate the purified enzyme creates electricity at minute hydrogen concentrations.

Laboratory work performed by Kropp shows that it is possible to store purified Huc for long periods. “It is astonishingly stable. It is possible to freeze the enzyme or heat it to 80 degrees celsius, and it retains its power to generate energy,” Kropp said. “This reflects that this enzyme helps bacteria to survive in the most extreme environments. ”

Huc is a “natural battery” that produces a sustained electrical current from air or added hydrogen. While this research is at an early stage, the discovery of Huc has considerable potential to develop small air-powered devices, for example as an alternative to solar-powered devices.

The bacteria that produce enzymes like Huc are common and can be grown in large quantities, meaning we have access to a sustainable source of the . Dr. Grinter says that a key objective for future work is to scale up Huc production. “Once we produce Huc in sufficient quantities, the sky is quite literally the limit for using it to produce clean .”

15 Comments on "Newly discovered enzyme that turns air into electricity"

  1. makati1 on Sat, 11th Mar 2023 5:24 pm 

    Shades of Nikola Tesla! Power from the air! Now that it a new idea! NOT!!! More BS and hopium from the techie religion.

    It seems that a certain engineer in Ayn Rand’s book: “Atlas Shrugged” invented the same thing, but it was never explained how it worked.

    Now they claim that it can be made with biology. Maybe they can ask electric eels how they do it?

    None of the “ideas” that the dreamer techies come up with are even closely scalable. None. I’ll be glad when the SHTF and they are all out of work for lack of money.

    I’m not surprised that this BS came out of Kangaland. They are all going insane there, but not much worse than the US. There is no practical, simple, cheap replacement for FFs. None.

  2. adonis on Sat, 11th Mar 2023 10:34 pm 

    i think the key is hydrogen makati well get there if we have enuf time cheers from kangaland

  3. makati1 on Sun, 12th Mar 2023 12:16 am 

    I think you need a course in physics, adonis. You need a net INCREASE in energy if you want to power anything. I don’t see that in any of the hydrogen dreams. If you are counting on “renewables” to make it, you are even less educated.

  4. SilentRunning2 on Sun, 12th Mar 2023 1:48 am 

    Given the miniscule amount of free hydrogen in the air, we can expect the amount of energy that can be harvested from air to likewise be miniscule. Run an ultra-low power LCD watch? Perhaps. Power a house with lights, heat, AC, etc? Forget about it…

    If it were otherwise, the first spark would cause the entire atmosphere to explode in a planet-wide catastrophe.

  5. theluckycountry on Sun, 12th Mar 2023 1:49 am 

    Australia is not exempt from crackpots and university toads who are happy to spin a story to get funding for their pet projects. Australian Universities have over the decades come out with some remarkable technology but in this day and age everything is getting corrupted.

    When I went through Uni 30 years ago, it was already a sheltered workshop then where the staff licked the arses of the profs, the profs the arses of the deans and the deans had their noses up the chancellors ring.

    I did engineering and there was a crackpot rocketry project underway at UQ. They were doing tests in the SA desert, but it all came to nothing, just kids playing with sky rockets.

    Where is the money in Universities now? Medicine, Pharmaceutical drug medicine. Big pharma spends billions constructing facilities and training young doctors how to market their wares, that’s why I keep the hell away from them. Doctors are not the doctors of yesteryear.

  6. peakyeast on Sun, 12th Mar 2023 5:28 pm 

    This seems pretty useless – even if it very interesting tech.

  7. makati1 on Sun, 12th Mar 2023 5:48 pm 

    theUNlucky, you are correct. Aussieland is full of idiots like your leaders. Nuff said.

  8. makati1 on Sun, 12th Mar 2023 5:50 pm 

    SilentRunning, you are correct. It is nice to see another thinker living in the real world.

  9. adonis on Mon, 13th Mar 2023 10:18 am 


  10. adonis on Mon, 13th Mar 2023 10:26 am 

    Gold hydrogen: Is there a huge reserve of clean fuel in Earth’s crust? › article › 2363076-gold-hydrogen-is-there-a-huge-…
    7 days ago · Earth may contain vast overlooked stores of hydrogen gas. If some of it is feasible to recover, this natural hydrogen could provide a source …

  11. makati1 on Tue, 14th Mar 2023 4:18 pm 

    adonis, you need more of what you are shooting up on.

  12. makati1 on Thu, 16th Mar 2023 5:51 pm 

    Unlucky, are you really so out of reality that you post BS like this: “mak contradicts his own argument…again

    “Climate BS will be the end of the West.There is no way in hell that fossil fuels will not be used until there is none available.”

    If by BS you mean the ever worsening consequences of runaway climate change, then I would agree with you 100%

    It’s very efficient – most stupid people need at least 5-6 sentences to contradict themselves.

    Mak are you afraid of that little girl Greta too? Most deniers get hyper triggered every time she speaks.”

    1. Climate BS is just that, BS. Nothing is ever proved, just propaganda to scare the fools. Of course climate is changing. It always has, but it is not caused by humans.
    2. Greta is a stupid, mentally deficient, girl who has been used by the pushers of climate BS for $$$.

    But then, what do you expect from a thoroughly brainwashed Western biased kangaroo hugger who uses as proof, Amerikan MSM propaganda sites.? No real proof of anything he spews from both ends. Too much Western MSM propaganda that has mushed whatever intelligence he may have once had. Typical of why the West is dying, including Australia. Too much BS. Not enough critical thinking.
    You sound a lot like Davy in Missouri. He was always trying to put me down and failed. All my predictions came true. Now he is gone. Good riddance! One less idiot.

  13. theluckycountry on Thu, 16th Mar 2023 7:57 pm 

    no one is listening to you now mak, you’re a eeeeeesupertardtroLL, go change your undies and those of your LBFM.

    Germans…. I knew a german a decade and more back, like most he had a huge HUGE chip on his shoulder, passed down from his Hitlerian father. He married a gorilla from papua and she served him well but he grew tired of her and went back up to the islands and found a much younger one. I met her once, she seemed nice enough, but as soon as he brought her into the country she took advantage of the laws and screwed for every cent he had. Dirty old germans chasing young women never win in the end.

  14. Dredd on Fri, 17th Mar 2023 3:49 pm 

    Sounds similar to the one that turns bullshit into trufiness (Good Nomenclature: A Matter of Life and Death – 4).

  15. dragobn on Sun, 19th Mar 2023 9:30 pm 

    To start playing Drift Hunters. This simple URL will open up a world of browser games that could entertain you for hours on end.

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