Oxford University chemists have discovered a property in the mushroom enzyme laccase that could revolutionize the way fuel cells are produced. Most fuel cells and batteries contain a core of heavy metals, which are expensive and pollute. The chemists discovered that laccase is every bit as effective as a catalyst on fuel cell electrodes as platinum.
Growing fungi on rotten wood is considerably less expensive and harmful to the environment than mining and processing platinum and other heavy metals, so the discovery of the potential uses for mushrooms and specifically the laccase enzyme is significant.
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