BIOCHEMICAL FUEL CELL.
Quarterly progress rept. no. 11, 1 Jan-31 Mar 65,
MELPAR INC FALLS CHURCH VA
Pagination or Media Count:
The studies carried out during this quarter have been more successful in showing the feasibility of using microorganisms for power production than any other study previously reported. It was demonstrated that the coupling of the 10-liter microbial hydrogen generator to a General Electric hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell produced one watt of power continuously for a period of 8 hours. No lag period was observed and hydrogen production continued for 8 hours without adjusting pH or substrate concentrations in the fermenter adjustment of these factors would have resulted in more hydrogen, and thus, more power. Several natural products were evaluated as substrates for hydrogen generation by Clostridium welchii. The vegetables, fruits, and grains tested included banana, cucumber, squash, grape, peach, orange, artichoke, rice, avocado, sweet potato, pineapple, apple, bean, and plum. The natural products are listed in the order of their importance as substrates for hydrogen. The large hydrogen output from cucumber, which has the lowest carbohydrate content of any of the natural products tested, indicates that other compounds in natural products may be more important sources of hydrogen than carbohydrates. It was calculated from present data that increasing the volume of the fermenter to 55 gallons would yield between 20 and 60 watts from either artificial media, or bananas or cucumbers. Author