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  • Monday, January 25, 2021
  • Hydrogen-Eating Microbes More Efficient than Algae

CEP student researcher Kyle Alvarado published a new peer-reviewed paper in the journal Acta Astronautica. This was the result of an Alaska Space Grant award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“Food in space from hydrogen oxidizing bacteria,” involved collaboration with the Finnish company Solar Foods, the Silicon Valley company Novo Nutrients and John Hogan at NASA Ames. Co-authors include ACEP’s David Denkenberger, UAF undergraduate Joseph Egbejimba and researchers in Spain and Italy.

The research paper concludes that turning electricity into hydrogen and having edible microbes consume the hydrogen is 18% efficient vs. 4% for artificial light and algae. Even more important for space applications is the lower weight of the hydrogen system, which was also much lower weight than prepackaged food.


Kyle Alvarado is the lead author on a new peer-reviewed research paper. Photo by Amanda Byrd.