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Nanotechnology Makes Poop Power 20 Times More Efficient
Posted By Cameron Scott On July 23, 2010 @ 1:45 pm In Poo Power!,Renewable Energy,Water Issues | No Comments
Engineers at Oregon State University have their minds in the gutter. They’re working on getting more energy from sewage, and they’ve made a discovery that boosts electricity production substantially. By applying a nanoparticle  coating to the anodes in fuel cells that turn crap into currents, they increased  production nearly 20-fold.
In this particular potty-to-plug technology , bacteria from the sewage are placed in an anode chamber, where they consume nutrients and grow while, in the process, releasing electrons. The researchers put a nanoparticle coating on the graphite anodes – one bit of bad news: the coating was gold. Talk about flushing good money down the toilet! However, iron may work nearly as well, at least for certain kinds of bacteria.
Interesting note: OSU’s Hong Liu, an assistant professor of biological and ecological engineering, gained inspiration for the work when changing her young son’s diapers .
Via ScienceDaily 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/nanotechnology-makes-poop-power-20-times-more-efficient/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/23/nanotechnology-makes-poop-power-20-times-more-efficient/sewage-sludge-2/
 nanoparticle: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/21/new-quantum-dot-solar-cells-could-double-efficiency/
 increased: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721145101.htm
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/23/nanotechnology-makes-poop-power-20-times-more-efficient/sewage-sludge-3/
 coveted form of renewable energy: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/01/biodiesel-from-sewage-sludge-costs-just-10-a-gallon-more-than-petrol/
 potty-to-plug technology: http://inhabitat.com/poo-power/
 diapers: http://inhabitat.com/2010/05/04/japanese-company-turns-adult-diapers-into-energy-source/
 + Oregon State University: http://oregonstate.edu/
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