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.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.