All the sugars present in the corn stover can be converted into hydrogen gas without any net increase in the greenhouse gas emissions a new study funded by Shell Oil suggests. Corn stover means the post-harvest leftover of corn in the field comprising of stalk, leaf, husk, and cob.
The process involves the mixing of a mixture of 10 different hydrolysing enzymes with the corn biomass. This is being considered a remarkable achievement as previously only 30-60% conversion of sugars to hydrogen gas could have been achieved.
The next challenge is to scale up the process. According to Professor Percival Zhang of Virginia Tech if supported by funding in a few years they can succeed in building a bioreactor able to produce 200 kilos of hydrogen fuel per day. About 40 or 50 cars can be refuelled from such a bioreactor.
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