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Electricity from thin air: an enzyme from bacteria can extract energy from hydrogen in the atmospher

It may sound surprising, but when times are tough and there is no other food available, some soil bacteria can consume traces of hydrogen in the air as an energy source.

In fact, bacteria remove a staggering 70 million tonnes of hydrogen yearly from the atmosphere, a process that literally shapes the composition of the air we breathe.

We have isolated an enzyme that enables some bacteria to consume hydrogen and extract energy from it, and found it can produce an electric current directly when exposed to even minute amounts of hydrogen.

As we report in a new paper in Nature, the enzyme may have considerable potential to power small, sustainable air-powered devices in future.

Bacterial genes contain the secret for turning air into electricity

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