Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Egg Shells for Hydrogen Fuel

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Egg Shells for Hydrogen Fuel

Article excerpt

Engineers at Ohio State University (OSU) have found a way to turn discarded chicken egg shells into an alternative energy resource. The patented process uses egg shells to soak up carbon dioxide from a reaction that produces hydrogen fuel. The process also includes a unique method for peeling the collagen-containing membrane from the inside of the shells, so the collagen can be used commercially.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

L.S. Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and former OSU doctoral student Mahesh Iyer thought of the idea when they tried to improve a method of hydrogen production known as the watergas-shift reaction. With this method, fossil fuels such as coal are gasified to produce carbon monoxide gas, which then combines with water to produce carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

"The key to making pure hydrogen is separating out the carbon dioxide," explains Fan. "In order to do it very economically, we needed a new way of thinking, a new process scheme. …

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