Turning waste into power with bacteria — and loofahs
December 5, 2013 Editor 0
Loofahs, best known for their use in exfoliating skin to soft, radiant perfection, have emerged as a new potential tool to advance sustainability efforts on two fronts at the same time: energy and waste. The study describes the pairing of loofahs with bacteria to create a power-generating microbial fuel cell (MFC) and appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Shungui Zhou and colleagues note that MFCs, which harness the ability of some bacteria to convert waste into electric power, could help address both the world’s growing waste problem and its need for clean power. Current MFC devices can be expensive and complicated to make. In addition, the holes, or pores, in the cells’ electrodes are often too small for bacteria to spread out in. Recently, researchers have turned to plant materials as a low-cost alternative, but pore size has still been an issue. Loofahs, which come from the fully ripened fruit of loofah plants, are commonly used as bathing sponges. They have very large pores, yet are still inexpensive. That’s why Zhou’s team decided to investigate their potential use in MFCs.
When the scientists put nitrogen-enriched carbon nanoparticles on loofahs and loaded them with bacteria, the resulting MFC performed better than traditional MFCs. “This study introduces a promising method for the fabrication of high-performance anodes from low-cost, sustainable natural materials,” the researchers state.
- Grand Challenge:a Better Protective Suit for HealthCare Workers
- A systematic review of the literature on self-management interventions and discussion of their potential relevance for people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Defending food crops: Whitefly experimentation to prevent contamination of agriculture
- [News & Analysis] Tropical Medicine: Surprising New Dengue Virus Throws a Spanner in Disease Control Efforts
- Optimization of hydrogen production from pretreated rice straw waste in a mesophilic up-flow anaerobic staged reactor
- Researchers use nanoparticles to deliver vaccines to lungs
Tags: Bioelectrochemistry, Hydrogen production, Microbial fuel cell, Microbiology
Roadconexion wants to provide Ugandan Road users with real-time crowd-sourced traffic information Crop-infecting virus forces aphids to spread disease
Subscribe to our stories
- Entrepreneurial Alertness, Innovation Modes, And Business Models in Small- And Medium-Sized Enterprises December 30, 2021
- The Strategic Role of Design in Driving Digital Innovation June 10, 2021
- Correction to: Hybrid mosquitoes? Evidence from rural Tanzania on how local communities conceptualize and respond to modified mosquitoes as a tool for malaria control June 10, 2021
- BRIEF FOCUS: Optimal spacing for groundnuts in smallholder farming systems June 9, 2021
- COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa June 9, 2021
Popular Post-All time
- A review on biomass-based... 1k views
- Apply Now: $500,000 for Y... 834 views
- Can blockchain disrupt ge... 816 views
- Test Your Value Propositi... 779 views
- Prize-winning projects pr... 740 views