In the Labs: Cow Belly Fuel Cells, Magnetic Cooling, Making Hydrogen

Cow-Powered Fuel Cells: Fluid found in the stomach of cows has been used to generate electricity by researchers at Ohio State University. They filled a microbial fuel cell with cellulose and rumen fluid — the fluid found in the largest part of a cow’s stomach — which acted to break down the cellulose and in the process, produce electricity. Two of the cells were said to produce enough electricity to recharge an AA-sized battery. Moo! (United Press International)

Making Hydrogen: Purdue University scientists are working on a technology that produces hydrogen by adding water to an alloy of aluminum and gallium. Hydrogen is a clean energy source that can power a variety of applications from cars to generators. The technology was announced back in May, but the researchers are now touting an improvement in the alloy material. They plan to present their findings at next week’s Energy Nanotechnology International Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. (release)

Magnetic Refrigeration: Researchers at Risø National Laboratory – Technical University of Denmark (DTU) are claiming the “first milestone in magnetic cooling” aimed at refrigeration. The complicated technical process has achieved between 5 and 10 degrees (Celsius) of cooling. In other words, a fridge at room temperature (20°C, or 68°F) can be cooled to about 11°C, or 51.8°F, which, the researchers admit, is not quite cold enough to “cool a glass of milk.” But they think it’s possible to achieve greater cooling using the magnets, and they say the technology is “potentially” more energy-efficient than existing modes of refrigeration. (Science Daily)


Comments have been disabled for this post