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Wastewater

Environment

This machine draws fertilizer from sewage

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart, Germany, have developed a new method to harvest phosphorus, a key component of agricultural fertilizers, from wastewater. It incorporates a reactor that is environmentally-friendly, doesn't rely on chemicals, and is ready to be marketed.Read More

Environment

Algae could both provide biofuel and clean up wastewater

Algae may indeed be a potential source of biofuel, but it can also find use in things like nutritional supplements and cosmetics. When it's grown commercially, its growth is usually aided with chemical fertilizers. The cost of those chemicals cuts into the profits, however, plus the fertilizers are also needed for more traditional crops. That's why scientists from Houston's Rice University are looking into growing algae in municipal wastewater – the water would already contain its own free fertilizer, plus the algae would help clean it up. Read More

Environment

Gold and other valuable metals may be harvested from sewage

Mining operations tend not be very good for the environment, nor does the disposal of treated solid waste that still contains potentially-toxic metals. Now, however, scientists are looking into taking that waste and harvesting its trace amounts of metals such as gold, silver and platinum. Doing so could ultimately reduce the need for mining and decrease the amount of metals entering the environment, while also turning sewage into a source of revenue. Read More

Environment

Silicon Valley's latest high-tech gadgetry makes sewage water drinkable

Drinking recycled urine may be the stuff of Dune novels, and a drastic response to California’s ongoing drought. But officials in Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley are hoping its new high-tech purification plant will help residents get past the ick factor and eventually allow treated wastewater to flow through their faucets in a "toilet to tap" scenario. Opened in July, the $72 million Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center is the most advanced such plant in the US, and uses a multi-step system of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet rays to produce water of higher quality than typical drinking water.Read More

Science

MIT study could slash the cost of renewable osmotic power

A new study conducted at MIT has examined the potential of pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO), a technique that generates electricity from the difference in salinity between two pools of water separated by a membrane. According to the researchers, tweaking the size of the membrane could help generate electricity much more cheaply than ever before.Read More

Environment

Wastewater that cleans itself results in more water, less sludge

Using wastewater to clean itself is the premise of new Australian technology that relies on the formation of compounds called hydrotalicites, and which results in less sludge than traditional water treatment with lime. In one test in Australia, the equivalent of 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools of wastewater were treated, with final sludge reductions of up to 90 percent. Read More

Environment

Researcher looks into wastewater zooplankton as biofuel feedstock

With dwindling non-renewable fuel sources creating an enormous energy challenge, the search is on to develop sustainable, renewable types of energy such as solar, wind and biofuel. One of the recent developments in this field comes from New York's Clarkson University, where new findings suggest that small organisms found in wastewater treatment lagoons could be used as biofuel feedstock. Read More

Worms produce pre-colored silk after eating dyed leaves

Like most other fabrics, silk is colored with dye. Unfortunately, the dyeing process results in wastewater laden with toxins. Now, however, scientists from the National Chemical Laboratory in India are developing an alternative. They're feeding dye to silkworms, which in turn are producing pre-colored silk fibers. Read More

New process recycles rare earth elements from wastewater

Rare earth elements are an integral part of many of today's electronic devices, serving as magnets, catalysts and superconductors. Unfortunately, these minerals are also ... well, rare, and thus very pricey. Recently, however, scientists discovered that some of them can be reclaimed from industrial wastewater, instead of being mined from the earth. Read More

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