Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wastewater as future source of electricity

There is a team of engineers that is now looking beyond fossil fuels – such as coal, oil and natural gas, and emerging alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power – to supply the world’s increasing energy demands.  They are developing a new technology that will harness the energy in sewage water to produce electricity.

According to a article, this team at Oregon State University has recently announced a new advance in microbial fuel cells that generate electricity from wastewater.  They have developed a technology that uses bacteria to harvest energy from the biodegradable components of sewage at a rate that is 10 to 50 times more efficient than previous methods.

In essence, they are harnessing biodegradable material in wastewater to feed aerobic bacteria, which digest the substances with the use of oxygen. When the microbes oxidize these components of sewage – and, in turn, clean the water -- they produce a steady stream of electrons.

As the electrons flow from the anode to the cathode within a fuel cell, they produce an electrical current, which can be directly used as a power source. Additionally, this process cleans the water more effectively than anaerobic digestion and doesn’t produce unwanted byproducts.

“If this technology works on a commercial scale the way we believe it will, the treatment of wastewater could be a huge energy producer, not a huge energy cost,” said Hong Liu, a member of the study. “This could have an impact around the world, save a great deal of money, provide better water treatment and promote energy sustainability.”

This technology would greatly benefit developing countries; immediately addressing two problems: a lack of cheap electricity and a scarcity of clean water.

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Meanwhile, on the local front, Cebu-based Bethesda Bio’Solutions Corporation has been making formal presentations to Panglao Island officials on the merits of their products and services, which eliminate the stench emanating from water management systems and open dumpsites.  This company can also convert the island's organic garbage into compost.

“Our business is taking ‘foul’ with our valued clientele and solving the malodor bugging them,” said Candido Nadela, president of Bethesda Bio’Solutions Corporation.

The firm offers to eradicate the stench at its source, on “No cure, No Pay Basis,” and generate revenues for their clients with the use of their organic technology, the Microbial Inoculation Technology.  It is a liquid culture of the latest generation of beneficial aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms sourced from nature. It consists of photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeast. It does not contain any genetically engineered or modified organisms, not chemically synthesized, safe and easy to handle, and is harmless to human health even if accidentally ingested.

Visit Bethesda Bio’Solutions Corporation online for further information on its products and services.

Water drainage system improvement project n Metro Manila

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