Eggs – they’ve been a popular cuisine for centuries.
Available in many forms and functioning as a staple of most breakfast menus, eggs have secured their place in the culinary industry as being widely beloved for taste and nutritional value.
But the whites themselves have their own appeal. Though the mention of egg styles often brings to mind images of the yolk, the whites have nutritional value and enough taste appeal to warrant their sale in a standalone fashion.
Available in various sizes and 100 percent liquid formats at most grocery stores, whites are their own distinct product in the culinary industry. The nutrients they offer are on par with the yolk and other long-time favorite foods of generations. But the positive effects they can have on the body aren’t their only benefit.
With the world slowly but surely turning toward a clean energy future, every potential clean energy source is an ally in the fight to preserve the planet. This includes egg whites. Despite spending most of their useful lives in store coolers or home refrigerators, whites are more than just a good source of protein – they’re the source of lysozyme, a valuable chemical great at generating hydrogen.
The unique chemical presents the possibility of generating hydrogen from water rather than from fossil fuels, presenting new options for a clean energy source.
Harnessing Hydrogen Through Clean Sources
The entire purpose of the clean-energy movement is to promote efficiency in accomplishing tasks. This involves using the least amount of energy possible and powering efforts by sources that don’t have harmful side-effects on the environment.
Hydrogen’s advantages come from its abundance. It’s found in greater amounts than any element on the planet but getting to it can be tough. This requires a person to generate the element from certain substances. More often than not, the choice substance is fossil fuels.
But it can also be generated from water – refining this process could allow hydrogen to be used as an inexpensive power source without releasing carbon dioxide into the environment.
Hydrogen cells don’t rely on combustion to generate power. Instead, chemical reactions handle the task, only producing water and heat as a result. This means any engine or generator used today could potentially be transformed into a hydrogen-based power source.
This type of change could have widespread benefits in terms of both making energy eco-friendly and more affordable at the same time.
Where Could This Energy Source Be Used?
Clean-generated hydrogen could be useful in a number of different applications.
Many vehicle makers have already experimented with using natural gas engines and a combination of fuel and electric power. If it became feasible to create a hydrogen-powered engine that derived energy from water rather than fossil fuels, auto manufacturers aiming for fuel-efficiency and eco-friendly design would undoubtedly adopt the method.
Buildings are also dependent on their power sources. Both homes and businesses need energy from clean sources to minimize their impact on the environment. Property developers would likely see great potential in efficient hydrogen-based power systems especially if they took the carbon dioxide emissions out of the equation.
Everything from consumer electronics to the high-powered machines on industrial sites could potentially benefit from clean hydrogen power. But how quick could this technology become viable in the mainstream?
The Difficulties of Extracting Hydrogen from Water
There is a lot of buzz around the prospect of extracting hydrogen from water. Though it is a potential game-changer for the energy industry, it’s also a difficult step to make.
While combustion of fossil fuels is harmful to the environment, the process itself is much easier than deriving hydrogen from the natural reactions of molecules. Manipulating chemical reactions is not easy and cannot (at least in the present) be expected to provide consistent results.
While the necessary proteins can be produced by bacteria, creating and harnessing them requires complex equipment and a lot of time. Eggs, on the other hand, are a natural and readily accessible source of these proteins. This makes egg whites a surprisingly effective force on the journey to an eco-friendlier tomorrow.
Sunlight can be a valuable catalyst for speeding up the necessary chemical reactions, making it a little easier to generate hydrogen.
How Lysozyme from Egg Whites Works
The molecule from egg whites functions essentially as a “traffic director,” steering along the necessary chemical reactions with their intricate nanostructure.
By helping to speed up the process of chemical reactions, lysozyme could be the necessary piece of the puzzle scientists have been missing when it comes to harnessing hydrogen without relying on fossil fuels.
While they have proven this method works, there are many challenges ahead. Upscaling the use of this technology to national and global levels will require a lot more work and resources – but experts have already shown how such a goal could be worthwhile.