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Biofuels Roundup

May 7, 2010

Researchers look into novel new biofuel sources.


Creating a foam leaf. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The sub-tropical Tungara frog produces a long-lasting foam nest to protect its eggs. Scientists at the University of Cincinnati report in the journal Nano Letters that they’ve made a synthetic version of the foam and infused it with photosynthetic chemicals. The result is a foam leaf that takes water and CO2 from the air and makes sugars that can then be turned into biofuels. The team used the frog foam because it holds the compounds in place while allowing sunlight and gases to penetrate.

In other biofuel news, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden has discovered that a kind of bacteria found in New Zealand hot springs can produce hydrogen gas from trash twice as well as other bacteria. She hopes to mix the hydrogen with methane to make a low-pollution fuel for cars. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.