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Carbon footprint and nanotechnology

Oregon State University engineers have been delving deeper than one may care to imagine. We all know that manure or poo can be effective for growing crops, some even claim it can health benefits for the skin. BUT the engineers at Oregon University are trying to get a source of energy from sewage and have discovered something that can boost electricity production too!

The theory is to apply nanoparticle coatings to anodes of fuel cells, those that turn poo into currents. These increased production by the power of 20, yes we too were surprised at the results but converting waste into renewable energy could be one of the biggest breakthroughs in modern history.

Converting faeces into electricity would mean the human race could conquer a lot of problems. Quelling a waste disposal and pollution problem at the same time, greatly reducing our carbon footprint.

In developed countries, using poo to power mass production and factories could greatly reduce treatment of waste water. Or imagine the power it could have on developing countries, we would have an effective way to treat their waste water by providing the electricity they lack to do the job initially! Killing two birds with one stone.

Some of you may think this theory is somewhat ‘potty’ but when bacteria from sewage is placed together in anode chambers, consuming nutrients and growing, the process also releases electrons! Researchers then placed a nanoparticle coat on each of the graphite anodes. One critical flaw in this test was they used a gold coating, so clearly this is not fully practical for a long term solution or idea that can be expanded on. They are hoping that iron will work in the same way for some types of bacteria.

Remember there was once a time that every genius idea may have seemed impossible, it can sometimes be hard to envisage ‘theories’ until they actually happen but stranger things have surely surprised us than this. Man walked on the moon, people are living longer than ever and modern technology continues to advance as we speak.

Imagine a world were countries like Africa could build and sustain their own cities through these methods, one guarantee is we will always need to poop and could mean in future, we will have a limitless supply of electricity.

Fighting Against Global Warming – A New Development in Carbon Capture with Nanotechnology >>

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