BOB HIRSHON (host):
Pond scum to fuel cars. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Hydrogen gas is a clean-burning fuel, producing just water as a by-product. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are studying varieties of algae that contain a compound called hydrogenase that let the algae produce hydrogen. They are trying to increase the yield of these single-celled plants enough that they could become a practical new fuel source.
In related news, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology are working on new fuel tanks that can safely store and release hydrogen. They’re looking at a material called Metal Organic Framework or MOF 74 that consists of a microscopic array of carbon and zinc. One gram of the stuff has the same surface area as two basketball courts. The MOF 74 holds onto large amounts of hydrogen and releases the gas as it’s needed. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.