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Scientists in Lyon, a French city famed for its cuisine, have discovered a quick-cook recipe for copious volumes of hydrogen (H2).

The breakthrough suggests a better way of producing the hydrogen that propels rockets and energizes battery-like fuel cells. In a few decades, it could even help the world meet key energy needs -- without carbon emissions contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

It also has profound implications for the abundance and distribution of life, helping to explain the astonishingly widespread microbial communities that dine on hydrogen deep beneath the continents and seafloor.

Describing how to greatly speed up nature's process for producing hydrogen will be a highlight among many presentations by Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) experts at the American Geophysical Union's annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco Dec. 9 to 13.

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