A single-chambered microbial fuel cell protrotype developed by researchers at Pennsylvania State University may have proven that someone's trash could indeed become another person's treasure. During their research, the scientists found that when a steady flow of wastewater was pumped into the chamber to feed the bacteria, bacterial digestion of the wastewater's organic matter unleashed electrons into the electrical circuit and positively charged hydrogen ions into the solution. As a result, the ions reduced the solution's oxygen demand, which is a key goal of wastewater management. Such findings suggest that microbial fuel cell technology may provide a new method to save operating costs of wastewater treatment.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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