Israeli scientists say they have made hydrogen from plants, a discovery they hope could eventually be used to generate electricity from plants.
A lab at Tel Aviv University in Israel made the discovery in a study using microalgae, an aquatic plant.
“To connect a device to electricity, you just need to connect a power point,” said Iftah Jacoby, director of the University’s Renewable Energy Laboratory. On the plants, we don’t know where to connect.”
The researchers implanted an enzyme in the algae sample and observed that it produced hydrogen, an energy source already used to fuel vehicles.
“We don’t know if it will work, but we think it has potential,” Says Jacoby.
The research was reported in the April issue of the journal Energy and Environmental Science in collaboration with Kevin Redding of the University of Arizona.
“From the moment we discovered how to use plants to generate energy, we had a choice,” Says Jacoby.
He said the new study showed that plants have the potential to generate electricity, but cautioned that it could be at least 20 years before humans benefit from the findings.
“These results give us a lot to think about,” he said. In the future we will see what they can do.”