Turning Mud Into Electricity

27 January 2002
Posted by Chris Smith.

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… Scientists discover napthalene-eating extreme bacteria in old gas works.

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