Science News

Turning Mud Into Electricity

Sun, 27th Jan 2002

Part of the show How Dolphins, Whales and other Marine Mammals Communicate

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts have discovered how to make electricity using mud ! They have found that microorganisms living in sediments underwater can break down waste matter and produce useful electrical energy. To demonstrate their findings, the researchers added some common mud to jars of water and placed a carbon electrode in the mud and a second carbon electrode in the water. The resulting electrical current was strong enough to power a lightbulb or even a simple computer. The bugs behind this amazing finding are called geobacters, and the scientists have found that they are also capable of breaking down toxic chemicals, including oils, and turning them into electricity. The researchers are now studying the geobacters genes in order to understand how they can be used in industrial clean-up operations…
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