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Print 16 comment(s) - last by FoxMontage.. on Jul 28 at 10:19 AM


  (Source: sciseek)
Could change the face of wastewater treatment

Oregon State University engineers have applied new coatings on anodes of microbial electrochemical cells, which heightens their electricity production by 20 times, and is another step closer to producing electricity from sewage. 

The graphite anodes were coated with palladium at one point in order to produce electricity, but that didn't produce quite as much as the nanoparticle layer of gold, which is what increased the electricity production by about 20 times. This is a huge advance toward technology that could both produce levels of electricity and clean biowaste at the same time, ultimately changing the face of renewable energy and wastewater treatment. Also, this sort of technology could help treat wastewater in developing nations where an inadequate power supply prevents proper treatment.

During the course of these experiments, researchers inserted bacteria from sewage into an anode chamber and allowed it to form a biofilm, absorb nutrients and grow. The bacteria releases electrons during this process and fuels electricity production. 

"This is an important step toward our goal," said Frank Chaplen, an associate professor of biological and ecological engineering. "We still need some improvements in design of the cathode chamber, and a better understanding of the interaction between different microbial species. But the new approach is clearly producing more electricity." 

In addition, researchers have reason to believe that an iron nanoparticle coating would increase the electrical output of sewage as much as the layer of gold in some types of bacteria. Also, a "similar approach" could produce hydrogen gas rather than electricity, which could lead to further advancements in hydrogen fuel cell technology for cars as well as treating wastewater. 

"Recent advances in nanofabrication provide a unique opportunity to develop efficient electrode materials due to the remarkable structural, electrical and chemical properties of nanomaterials," said the published research paper. "This study demonstrated that nano-decoration can greatly enhance the performance of microbial anodes."

While more research is required to lower costs and improve efficiency, researchers say this technology has been proven in the laboratory. The study was led by Hong Liu, an assistant professor of biological and ecological engineering, and was published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics.


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yeah right
By magneticfield on 7/26/2010 6:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing "nano" will ever happen. Specially when nano and gold are in the same sentence.




RE: yeah right
By topkill on 7/26/2010 9:44:18 AM , Rating: 2
That is a good question. Whenever I see a paragraph such as:
" but that didn't produce quite as much as the nanoparticle layer of gold, which is what increased the electricity production by about 20 times..... Also, this sort of technology could help treat wastewater in developing nations where an inadequate power supply prevents proper treatment. "

Ok...so they can't afford power supplies but they can afford gold plated nano-particles? Interesting world you guys live in. LOL


RE: yeah right
By Paj on 7/26/2010 4:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
It's not like theyre using a solid gold ingot. The amount of actual gold involved would be miniscule. The word 'nano' is a bit of a giveaway.


RE: yeah right
By FoxMontage on 7/28/2010 10:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
Did you ever hear of the pregnancy test?


Many Sources of Electricity
By tng on 7/23/2010 2:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
So it seems that along with the PV solar panels on the top of my house, the wind tubine in the back yard, I can add a septic tank for electricity? Seems that with all the reasearch for this we could eventually do away with all of the current tech for electricity generation.

I flush the toilet and the lights get brighter?




RE: Many Sources of Electricity
By Manch on 7/23/2010 3:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
I gues that would mean thecourtesy flush is more important than ever!


By ClownPuncher on 7/23/2010 4:11:56 PM , Rating: 2
You all will be cutting into Oscar the Grouch's poo profits.


By Smartless on 7/23/2010 2:45:29 PM , Rating: 4
This technology has some potential but I'm wondering what kind of yield? I think that power would better be used at recapturing the lost drinkable water in sewage water. As they say, sewage water is 95% pure water and 5% crap.

By the way those pictures are pretty crappy (pun intended). That's solid waste and biohazard bags. Muddy water would have been closer.




By Smartless on 7/23/2010 2:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
This technology has some potential but I'm wondering what kind of yield? I think that power would better be used at recapturing the lost drinkable water in sewage water. As they say, sewage water is 95% pure water and 5% crap.

By the way those pictures are pretty crappy (pun intended). That's solid waste and biohazard bags. Muddy water would have been closer.




I rather wait...
By kontorotsui on 7/23/2010 3:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
... for Mr. Fusion




Master Kenobi
By Lawrence Weisdorn on 7/25/2010 10:28:44 AM , Rating: 2
Very wise words Master Kenobi

"If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
If it stops moving, subsidize it.
Government in a nutshell."




This is the first step
By YashBudini on 7/23/10, Rating: -1
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/23/2010 9:57:57 PM , Rating: 5
If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
If it stops moving, subsidize it.
Government in a nutshell.


RE: This is the first step
By Manch on 7/23/2010 10:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
Man that would suck! I would really feel bad for people with IBS. Even worse,I'd get taxed twice for gettin hammered on the weekends.


RE: This is the first step
By topkill on 7/26/2010 9:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
Manch, it is juvenile to talk about getting hammered in a serious discussion about saving the world.

Now I'm going to have to get slobbering drunk to forget the mental anguish you've caused me :-)


RE: This is the first step
By sinful on 7/25/2010 7:35:07 PM , Rating: 3
They wouldn't, because it would disproportinately affect politicians.
Everyone knows they're ALL full of poop.


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