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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the a-bit-tart dept.

Scientists have added cadmium to bacteria, causing them to accumulate cadmium sulphide crystals on their surfaces:

Scientists have created bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate a potential fuel source from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. The so-called "cyborg" bugs produce acetic acid, a chemical that can then be turned into fuel and plastic. In lab experiments, the bacteria proved much more efficient at harvesting sunlight than plants. The work was presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington.

[...] These newly boosted bacteria produce acetic acid, essentially vinegar, from CO2, water and light. They have an efficiency of around 80%, which is four times the level of commercial solar panels, and more than six times the level of chlorophyll.

Also at IEEE.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @01:42PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @01:42PM (#557997)

    say, harvest sunlight with solar panels, wind power (wind is still powered by the sun), and store energy in hydrocarbons

    Completely forgot to mention nuclear here. This is a great use-case for nuclear power. Harness fission energy, maybe some day fusion energy, assuming fusion is even possible on a scale many, many orders of magnitude less than a star, and store it in hydrocarbons. We won't have a Mr. Fusion on the back of our cars we can throw anything we can dig out of a trash can into, we won't have General Atomics fission power plants in our cars either, instead we could have nuclear powered cars (of the future! today!) because the cars run on hydrocarbons assembled in a fission or fusion power plant.

    Of course, don't let corporations anywhere near the management of nuclear plants. I'm convinced that fission can be done safely, just as long as gaslighting asshole managers are kept at a safe distance (perhaps measured in hundreds of miles and safely contained in jail cells until such a time we find a cure for sociopathy).

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday August 23 2017, @02:25PM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday August 23 2017, @02:25PM (#558015) Journal

    Doubling the energy density of batteries is not impossible (cue always 5 years away joke). At some point range anxiety disappears.

    Electric cars can get their electricity from any source including solar. They have better acceleration and make less noise (enabling them to mow down blind people). They can be safer due to distributing the weight of batteries at the bottom of the car.

    Cost is the real killer. Tesla is massively overvalued given the price tags on its cars. Chevy Bolt [electrek.co] is too expensive and the battery pack [electrek.co] costs more than some cars. Plug-in hybrids could be a good option for lowering the cost and boosting the range. But that's only for people buying new. If your existing car can run for decades with maintenance, then a drop-in replacement for gasoline is useful to you.

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