Scientists from Newcastle University have discovered a type of bacteria in river Wear in Sunderland that has high potential to generate electricity. The bacteria named bacillus stratosphericus is generally found 20 miles above the earth’s surface.
The bugs believed to be brought to the surface through atmospheric cycling are a potent form of bacteria which can be used in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to convert river waste and clean water into electricity. Scientists used it in an MFC wherein the bacteria produced carbon dioxide, protons and electrons when kept in a solution without oxygen. The liberated electrons then formed a negatively charged anode while the protons formed a positively charged cathode, the two charges essential to produce electricity.
It was found that these bacteria doubled the electricity generating capacity than other bacteria. Scientists thereafter declared that it could be harvested and used in the developing world to power appliances.