Navigation Links
Nanotech coatings produce 20 times more electricity from sewage
Date:7/21/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. Engineers at Oregon State University have made a significant advance toward producing electricity from sewage, by the use of new coatings on the anodes of microbial electrochemical cells that increased the electricity production about 20 times.

The findings, just published online in Biosensors and Bioelectronics, a professional journal, bring the researchers one step closer to technology that could clean biowaste at the same time it produces useful levels of electricity a promising new innovation in wastewater treatment and renewable energy.

Engineers found that by coating graphite anodes with a nanoparticle layer of gold, the production of electricity increased 20 times. Coatings with palladium produced an increase, but not nearly as much. And the researchers believe nanoparticle coatings of iron which would be a lot cheaper than gold could produce electricity increases similar to that of gold, for at least some types of bacteria.

"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 this technology, bacteria from biowaste such as sewage are placed in an anode chamber, where they form a biofilm, consume nutrients and grow, in the process releasing electrons. In this context, the sewage is literally the fuel for electricity production.

In related technology, a similar approach may be able to produce hydrogen gas instead of electricity, with the potential to be used in hydrogen fuel cells that may power the automobiles of the future. In either case, the treatment of wastewater could be changed from an energy-consuming technology into one that produces usable energy.

Researchers in the OSU College of Engineering and College of Agricultural Sciences, including Hong Liu, an assistant professor of biological and ecological engineering, are national leaders in development of this technology, which could significantly reduce the cost of wastewater treatment in the United States. It might also find applications in rural areas or developing nations, where the lack of an adequate power supply makes wastewater treatment impractical. It may be possible to create sewage treatment plants that are completely self-sufficient in terms of energy usage.

The technology already works on a laboratory basis, researchers say, but advances are necessary to lower its cost, improve efficiency and electrical output, and identify the lowest cost materials that can be used.

This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute.

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


'/>"/>

Contact: Frank Chaplen
frank.chaplen@oregonstate.edu
541-737-1015
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Save-the-date: Major nanotech, energy, and biomed meeting
2. Nanotech and synbio: Americans dont know whats coming
3. Europe rallies behind nanotechnology to wean world from fossil fuels
4. Nanotechnology boosts war on superbugs
5. ORNL nanotechnologies big winners in DOE call
6. Survey highlights support for nanotech in health fields but disapproval elsewhere
7. NIST, NCI bring web 2.0 tools to nanotechnology standards effort
8. Nanotechnology culture war possible, says Yale study
9. Donation for new Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology
10. Nanotechnology holds promise for STD drug delivery
11. University awarded £1.7M to develop nanotechnology for use in health care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for ... Market Are you interested in the future ... for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions ... and national level. Avoid falling behind in ... opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... -- Today, the first day of American Heart Month, the ... first of its kind workplace health solution that leverages ... first application of Watson to ... Welltok will create a new offering that combines AHA,s ... on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort is intended ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the ... pharma and publication industries, will provide the data management ... Centre (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis measures ... whole organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor ... expecting to fill more than 100 tables for its annual event, which will ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... PatientCrossroads announces ... the secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded both its one-year and overall recruitment ... PROMPT study, which seeks to advance understanding of the hereditary risks for certain ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an ... treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, announced today it has been selected to present at the ... Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The purpose of the Forum is to help ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Regenicin, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ... the development and commercialization of regenerative cell therapies ... organs, recently reported the Company,s operating results for ... 2016. Lonza America , Inc. (the ... year in the process of consummating an agreement ...
Breaking Biology Technology: