Sunday, 18 March 2012

Super Space Bugs Generate Electricity

Scientists have discovered that space bugs can generate electricity.
Scientists from Newcastle University have discovered that space bugs - Bacillus stratosphericus and Bacillus altitudinis  - bacteria normally found 30km above the earth have been identified as highly efficient generators of electricity.

Bacillus stratosphericus and Bacillus altitudinis are microbes commonly found in high concentrations in the stratosphere orbiting the earth but these microbes were spotted near the river Wear, which is located at Wear Estuary, Country Durham in the UK. Scientists believe that they were brought down to earth because of atmospheric cycling processes, according to a press release from the university.

During the experiment, they had collected 75 different species of bacteria near river Wear. They tested these bacteria by using a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC), a bio-electrochemical system that converts organic compounds directly into electricity by a process known as bio-catalytic oxidation. They discovered that the best species of bacteria like Bacillus stratosphericus and the Bacillus altitudinis were able to create an artificial biofilm that doubles the electrical output of the MFC from 105 milliwatts per cubic metre to 200 milliwatts per cubic metre.

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