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In this opinion, we suggest the electricity-carbohydrate-hydrogen (ECHo) cycle which bridges primary energies and secondary energies. Carbohydrates are sources of food, feed, liquid biofuels, and renewable materials and are a high-density hydrogen carrier and electricity storage compounds (e.g. >3000 Wh/kg). One element of this ECHo cycle can be converted to another reversibly and efficiently depending on resource availability, needs and costs. This cycle not only supplements current and future primary energy utilization systems for facilitating electricity and hydrogen storage and enhancing secondary energy conversion efficiencies, but also addresses such sustainability challenges as transportation fuel production, CO(2) utilization, fresh water conservation, and maintenance of a small closed ecosystem in emergency situations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Y-H Percival Zhang, Wei-Dong Huang. Constructing the electricity-carbohydrate-hydrogen cycle for a sustainability revolution. Trends in biotechnology. 2012 Jun;30(6):301-6

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PMID: 22444162

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