Modified Algae Produce Clean, Easy Hydrogen

Simple organisms pave the way to the hydrogen-fueled future

Algae get a lot of airtime as a possible future source of biofuels to wean us from dirty fossil fuels, but even biofuels don't go so far as to eliminate hydrocarbons (and their constituent carbon emissions) from our energy diet. But a different use for algae could prove a better solution to the future of fuel.

A new process that produces clean, sustainable hydrogen from photosynthesis in algae could change all that. The means of manufacturing clean, usable hydrogen has heretofore required a high-energy process that drastically dilutes the upside.

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Robots That Eat Bugs and Plants for Power

Controversial robots devour biomass to gain energy independence

No matter how intelligent a robot might be, it’s nice knowing you can pull its plug to halt the anti-human insurrection. Whoops, not anymore. A new cohort of ’bots that make energy by gobbling organic matter could be the beginning of truly autonomous machines.

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Carbon Nanotubes Shown to Boost Plant Growth, Could Spawn Super-Fertilizers

Carbon nanotubes have improved existing technologies in fields ranging from electrical circuitry to architecture to materials science. So is it any surprise that when researchers in Arkansas applied the miraculous microscopic structures to tomato seeds, the plants grew faster, stronger, and more plentifully?

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Darpa's Self-Feeding Sentry Robot is Not a Man-Eater, Company Protests

"We completely understand the public's concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission," says CEO

There hasn't been such a scare over the future of green since Soylent Green. But a DARPA-funded robot that forages for biomass will only consume plant matter, as opposed to dead bodies or wayward pets, its creators assure us.

The makers of the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) have issued a statement saying that "this robot is strictly vegetarian," after news outlets ranging from Fox News to CNET pounced on the flesh-eating potential of the bot.

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Cyclone Biomass Engine Takes Next Step in Powering DARPA's EATR Bot, a Hungry Hungry Sentinel

A waste heat engine would allow a robot to feed off grass, furniture, and dead bodies

A DARPA-funded robot that refuels itself on wood, grass--even decaying biomatter--whatever it can consume has met its perfect match--a biomass engine system called the Cyclone which we featured last year in our annual Invention Awards. Cyclone has just completed trials of their engine that will eventually digest EATR's foraged meals into power, just like Mr. Fusion.

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