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From the Toilet to the Tank – Biofuels from Sewage

What we flush can be converted into a biocrude oil with properties very similar to fossil fuels. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers have worked out a process that does not require that sewage be dried before transforming it under heat and pressure to biocrude. Metro Vancouver in Canada hopes to build a demonstration plant.

More about Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Videos

    Pulling Apart Titanium Oxide Surfaces

    Researchers slowly pull apart tiny bits of a titanium oxide mineral called rutile. The red dots near the top show the starting point. As the bottom half is pulled down, the top half stays attached by van der Waals forces -- until, that is, the pull becomes too great. The tips are about a th ... more

  • News

    Making methane from CO2: Carbon capture grows more affordable

    In their ongoing effort to make carbon capture more affordable, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a method to convert captured carbon dioxide (CO2) into methane, the primary component of natural gas.  By streamlining a longstandin ... more

    It's elemental: Ultra-trace detector tests gold purity

    Unless radon gas is discovered in a home inspection, most people remain blissfully unaware that rocks like granite, metal ores, and some soils contain naturally occurring sources of radiation. In most cases, low levels of radiation are not a health concern. But some scientists and engineers ... more

    A leap in using silicon for battery anodes

    The same material you'll find at the tip of a pencil--graphite--has long been a key component in today's lithium-ion batteries. As our reliance on these batteries increases, however, graphite-based electrodes are due for an upgrade. For that, scientists are looking to the element at the hea ... more

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