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Japanese scientist cracks a new energy solution

A Japanese scientist and his team, have discovered that proteins contained in egg whites have the ability to generate a clean source of power.

Yusuke Yamada, a professor at Osaka City University, explained in a statement that his team has managed to use protein from egg white as a “tool” for producing hydrogen, a powerful source of clean electricity.

A new energy solution

This method “brings us closer to our ultimate goal of producing hydrogen from water,” Yamada told AFP.

“This lays the groundwork for the clean production of hydrogen in the future,” added the scientist.

Citing the media, it reacts with oxygen, hydrogen produces electricity, releasing only water and heat in the process.

However, hydrogen is currently mass-produced using natural gas or fossil fuels, which themselves result in harmful emissions.

Yamada explained that it can be produced in labs without fossil fuels and scientists have traditionally done this by creating a special interaction of the molecules in liquid.

But free-moving and randomly located molecules and particles in the fluid can interfere with the process of producing hydrogen and scientists have long searched for a way to immobilise them.

Research and development

Citing a media report, the team of scientists used a protein found in egg to build crystals with lots of tiny holes to trap these particles.

The change brought a sense of traffic control to the molecular interactions and improved the efficiency of clean, hydrogen production, Yamada said.

“If you use hydrogen as an energy source, it only releases water in the environment. It is extremely environmentally friendly,” he told AFP.

“We found protein was a useful tool” to generate hydrogen in a lab without using a fossil fuel, the professor said.

Yamada’s method was originally published in the February edition of the scientific journal Applied Catalysis B.


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Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.