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Chementator Briefs

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Bio-Hydrogen Scientists at Indiana University (IU; Bloomington, Ind.; www.iu.edu) have created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyzes the formation of hydrogen from water. The biomaterial could be used to produce H2 or generate power from H2 in a fuel cell. Using methods they developed, the IU scientists, led by Trevor Douglas, inserted the enzyme hydrogenase into a protein shell (capsid) from bacteriophage-P22, a virus that infects bacterial cells. The resulting biomaterial is more efficient than the unaltered enzyme and is produced through a simple fermentation process at room temperature. The biomaterial is potentially far less expensive and more environmentally friendly to produce than other materials currently used as fuel-cell catalysts, such as platinum metal. Upon encapsulation in the capsid, the enzyme gains significantly greater resistance to breakdown from chemicals in the environment, and it retains the ability to catalyze at room temperature. No one’s ever had a way to create a large enough amount of this hydrogenase, despite its incredible potential for biofuel production. But now we’ve got a method to stabilize and produce high quantities of the material — and enormous increases in efficiency,…
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A team from RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia; www.rmit.edu.au) and the National Institute of Technology, Warangal (Warangal, India; www.nitw.ac.in) has developed…

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