Using a new electrically-assisted microbial fuel cell (MFC) that does not require oxygen, Penn State environmental engineers and a scientist at Ion Power Inc. have developed the first process that enables bacteria to coax four times as much hydrogen directly out of biomass than can be generated typically by fermentation alone. Bruce Logan, the Kappe professor of environmental engineering and an inventor of the MFC, says, “This MFC process is not limited to using only carbohydrate-based biomass for hydrogen production like conventional fermentation processes. We can theoretically use our MFC to obtain high yields of hydrogen from any biodegradable, dissolved, organic matter — human, agricultural or industrial wastewater, for example — and simultaneously clean the wastewater.
A team from Penn State took home top honors this week in a space product development contest by designing a vegetable spread specifically for astronauts. The annual competition is sponsored by the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center (FTCSC) at Iowa State University. Penn State students Renee Britton, Supratim Ghosh, Rajesh Potineni, Vandana Totlani, developed the winning entry, Veg@eez, under the direction of their advisor Koushik Seetharaman, assistant professor of food science.
Space Day 2004 to bring Mars into focus Penn State
The red planet of Mars and other out-of-this-world topics will be the center of attention when the fifth annual Space Day at Penn State is held on Saturday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the HUB-Robeson Center on the University Park campus. The free event combines sophisticated exhibits related to Penn State research with presentations and hands-on activities for all ages.