Alternative energy resourcesergonomics
- “Junk” energy: sludge. California produces 700,000 tons of dried sludge (insoluble deposits from steam boilers as sludge or in solid form) per year, from which about 10 million kWh of electricity per day can be produced. The University of Nevada, Reno, dries the sludge to make it combustible for a gasification process that turns it into electricity. A team of researchers has built a plant that pulverizes the viscous sludge using sand that “boils” at a relatively low temperature. The result is inexpensive, but high-quality fuel.
- Glow-in-the-dark jellyfish contain the raw materials needed to produce a new type of fuel cell. The glow of jellyfish is due to the presence of a green fluorescent protein called GFP. A team of scientists from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden placed this protein on aluminum electrodes and irradiated it with ultraviolet light. After such a procedure, the protein emits electrons, which begin to move cyclically and produce electricity.
- Billions of bacteria live in the wild, and like any organism, they have a strategy to survive if there is not enough food. For example, the bacterium E. coli (E. coli) has a supply of fatty acids, the composition of which resembles polyester. The same fatty acids are used in the production of biodiesel fuel. So the researchers are looking for a genetically engineered E. coli to overproduce polyesters as acids.