Weekly Tech Roundup | May 17, 2019

Weekly tech roundup: green technology edition

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This week’s tech roundup features green technologies that are available to license, develop, and use to make the world a cleaner, healthier, better place.

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Advanced water purification via contactless ion concentration

Army scientists have invented a novel water purification technology that is energy efficient and separates out diluted contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, spores, clay, hair, proteins, nucleic acids, peptides, lipids, and humic acids.

This design has a contactless filtration function that prevents bacterial biofilm formation on the membrane and clogging or fouling of the membrane, substantially reducing the need for replacing or cleaning, and minimizing overall maintenance requirements.

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Energy efficient air contaminant removal system for enclosed spaces

Navy submarines are equipped with devices for removing carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and other contaminants from the air. This is done with a catalytic burner and CO2 removal system that are implemented as stand-alone configurations.

The catalyst burner and CO2 removal system both generate waste-heat which requires additional energy from the submarine for removal.

A Navy researcher developed an air contaminant removal system that reduces the total power consumption and waste-heat generated.

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Smoke is visible from controlled burns of the oil released during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. This oil well blowout was the largest oil spill in U.S. waters.

NOAA

System for oil spill cleanup and oil recovery

Recent major oil spills have driven the research community and commercial entities to develop more efficient cleanup materials and processes.

But separating oil and petroleum products from water is difficult. And each approach to date has suffered from one of many drawbacks, including a lack of scalability, expense, or performance.

Navy researchers have developed a complete and scalable system that incorporates nanowire material to absorb, remove, and allow for the commercial use of spilled oil.

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Scalable chitosan-graphene oxide water filtration membrane and process for recycling the material

Various attempts have been made to produce more durable, longer-lasting water filtration devices with varying levels of success. To do this, filter membranes that do not disrupt water flow are necessary. And graphene is thought to be the strongest, thinnest and lightest membrane material available.

Army researchers recently invented a way to impart strength and stability to graphene oxide filters, making them invulnerable to deformation and swelling even as the size of the filtration membrane is increased.

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Detection of heavy metals by means of fluorescence change detectable by the naked eye

Many pollution problems could be mitigated if an easy, in-situ analytical method existed to indicate the presence of contaminated water.

Navy researchers have developed a simple, easily scaled process for producing fluorescent nanoparticles, including quantum dots that are relatively non-toxic and environmentally stable in both air and water.

A simple, four-step process for nanoparticle synthesis and functionalization is contained in the patent, which allows for scalability.

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