Food scraps become electricity and new solar cell coating technology

by Antonio Pasolini on November 9, 2009

To kick off the week, I’d like to point you to a couple of stories that have called our attention this Monday. The first is about an initiative carried out by the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which provides water and wastewater treatment in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area. The company is “turning food scraps from 2,300 Bay Area restaurants and grocery stores into electricity to help it power its wastewater facility.”

Every day, one or two 20-ton trucks pull up to the plant here and dump food waste into giant tanks. At the end of the process, the food scraps create methane gas. It helps power the plant’s electricity-making generators.”

The article explains in more detail the technical aspects of this enterprise and it does sound as green as the Grinch (thanks Super Eco!). Worth checking out. Also check out a previous Energy Refuge blog about how sludge can be turned into renewable energy.

Elsewhere, the Times of India says a Korean company has come up with a new type of coating for solar cells “that will help solar panels to absorb and generate 5% more power than normal panels without the coating.” Maximizing conversion of sunlight into power is one of the main goals of this industry so this technology is a step in the right direction.

“Once the coating is laid on the solar panels, the solar panel’s absorption and power generation capacity increases 5% more as it increases one of the active materials of the solar cells. This means if a solar panel generates 200 watt of solar power, it will generate 210 watt of solar power after putting this coat. Surprisingly, the cost of this material is very nominal.”

What’s even better: the technology does not require any extra natural resources. To find out more, go here.

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