Who will become America’s next great innovator? That’s the question the Discovery Channel is hoping to answer with a new reality show called, “The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius.” A grad student from Virginia Tech is one of ten people chosen after they sent video applications to the producers.
Scientists in biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech have succeed in using xylose, a sugar found in plants to produce large quantities of hydrogen in an environmentally friendly way.
Unlike current methods of making hydrogen gas, Associate Professor Percival Zhang’s process is done at low temperatures, uses no heavy metals and releases almost no green house gases. His team designed an enzyme cocktail for splitting of the hydrogen. The result is energy production at a rate of more than 100% efficiency; a level current methods do not reach.