Providing access to fresh water in areas of scarcity
Water is one of the most important resources in the world, however there is scarce access to fresh water in some locations. The developed device can be used for collecting water from the atmospheric moisture with no without energy input except for solar radiation. The device is comprised of a water absorbing material, a protection wall and a water container. When the water absorbing material is below phase separation temperature, hydrogen bonds are formed with water molecules resulting in the absorption of water from the air.
Improves seismic data acquisition and processing
Underwater seismic acquisition is a standard industry process to collect marine data. The developed method enables the processing of multi-component marine seismic data in order to estimate the properties of the seafloor and sensor calibration filters in a shallow water environment. The method applies a time-frequency-wave number transform on the acquired seismic sea bottom data and applies a time varying frequency-wave number filtering process to accurately process the seismic data.
Sustainable method of producing biogas from saline organic solids
Biofuel production using land crops is generally criticized due to environmental and economic limitations. The developed method converts halophytic plant biomass containing saline organic solids into biogas. The method involves the addition of a halophilic microbial culture to the halophytic plant biomass for digestion under anaerobic conditions to produce methane. In addition, the method could include pretreatment of the biomass under mild physicochemical conditions to improve yield.
Enhanced filters designed to alleviate pharmaceutical pollution of water
Pharmaceutical compounds are emerging contaminants in the water supply due to increasing use throughout the world. The developed photo-regenerable filters are designed to remove pharmaceutical compounds and other contaminants from water. The filter is comprised of carbon nanotubes and high surface area titanium dioxide nanospheres, in which the high surface area titanium dioxide nanospheres are dispersed in the carbon nanotubes.
Enhanced utilization/conservation of water using cellulose gels
Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer that can be extracted inexpensively from plants and other organisms. The developed cellulose gel compositions are prepared by modifying native cellulose to generate a material with enhanced water absorption and retention properties. The material is produced through the regeneration of cellulose in aqueous polyethylene oxide. The material has been demonstrated to hold twenty times its weight.
Multi-chamber reactor for converting waste oil into biofuel
Biodiesel is an important alternative fuel that includes a fatty acid methyl or (ethel) esters produced from trigylcerides as the product of vegetable, lipid, animal, trapped grease, or recycled cooking oil. However, production of biodiesel is limited due to current production methods. The developed multi-chamber continuous tubular reactor for the transesterification of oil can improve production. The multi-chamber design operates in a helical flow pattern to enhance mass transfer and increase conversion.
Efficient and cost-effective approach to membrane distillation
Membrane distillation, utilized in a number of commercial applications, is the thermal driven transport of vapor through non-wetted porous hydrophobic membranes. The developed vacuum membrane distillation system uses an aspirator to generate a vacuum pressure for drawing permeate from a membrane module. The aspirator generates the vacuum pressure by receiving and passing a circulating liquid and combines the permeate with the circulating liquid such that the permeate condensates in the circulating liquid.
Low-cost, portable, and reliable solution for radiation measurement
Solar radiation on the earth’s surface is not only due to the direct radiation from the solar disk but also from an aureole around the solar disk. The inability to accurately measure radiation results in inefficiencies in solar power generation. The radiometers developed helps to establish optical design parameters that impact the thermodynamic performance, and consequently the economic outcomes, of solar power generation systems.
Sustainable solution for product packaging and other applications
The developed method can be used to make a biodegradable composite using an aqueous mixture comprised of partially hydrolyzed cellulose in a dissolution media; combing the mixture with a solution of an aliphatic polyester in a polar organic solvent; removing solvent and dissolution media to form a wet biodegradable composite; and drying the wet biodegradable composite to form a dry biodegradable composite.
Improving the recovery of bitumen from oil sands
There are almost 10 trillion barrels of heavy oil and bitumen worldwide, of which 10% is commercially exploitable with existing technology. The developed system and method can lead to the recovery of bitumen from oil sands. The environmentally-friendly system incorporates solar-powered generation of steam to increase the viscosity of bitumen and increase the efficiency of recovery.