Category Archives: material quantity

Harvest gold out of plants – Phytomining

The technique of phytomining involves growing a crop of a metal-phyto-mining-300x250hyperaccumulating plant species, harvesting the
biomass and burning it to produce a bio-ore. In the first phytomining experiment, it was found that a yield of 100 kg/ha of sulphur-free Ni could be produced.

Technical application:

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sea anemone inspires for drug injection and medical needles

dn17985-1_300A sea anemone looks like an underwater flower with its colorful tentacles. However, this stinging “flower” must be handled with care. The tentacles are armed with tiny harpoon-like structures which can be fired outward. After they strike a passing fish, poison is pumped through an attached hollow thread to paralyze the prey. Some anemones and similar jellyfish are likewise a danger to a person who comes in contact.

Technical application:

There is wide potential application in replacing hypodermic needles in dentistry, skin anti-aging procedures, and diabetic insulin.

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Pilot Whale for a Self-cleaning Ship Hull and safe of fuel costs

ship Long-finned pilot whales swim in cool regions of the oceans. They grow to 12-16 feet in length and weigh several tons. The whales are characterized by an enlarged forehead and a swimming behavior siwhalemilar to dolphins. The creatures are found to have highly-specialized apparatus for maintaining smooth, clean skin. Countless tiny surface pores produce a slime coating. The gel washes off with movement and is continually replenished. This “skin care” prevents bacteria and algae from gaining a foothold and forming growth colonies. The whale’s surface chemicals also contain enzymes that repel microorganisms. This feature in turn avoids barnacles, tubeworms and other marine life which are otherwise attracted to underwater surfaces.

How can the production of “slime” by pilot whales possibly be useful as a technical application?

Technical application:

clean ships without cleaning

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CO2 gas could be converted to concret

PillarCoralCement is made from limestone and other ingredients in a high temperature kiln process above 1300°C. One by product of the cement preparation is a large amount of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas which is not friendly to the environment when in excess amounts.
Scientists at Stanford University, led by Brent Constantz, have found an alternative to traditional cement production. They study coral which forms the largest biologically formed structures in the world.

Technical application:

convert CO2 gas from powerplants to concret

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synthetic cloud snows austria

snowcanonThe austrian scientist Michael Bacher presented at TMI before an artificial snow cloud. It produces 15 cubic meters of fresh snow out of one cubic meter of water. Lautenbacher says that the operation of the cloud is much cheaper and more efficient than conventional snow cannons. The cannons would need more than seven times more water for the same amount of snow. In addition, the snow from the cloud is equal to real snow. In Obergurgl (Austria) the artificial cloud is tested now for several months.
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Technical application:

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lizard tail for stabilizers

Lizard_EchseTownsville.jpg.w300h413Lizards are some of the most versatile animals on the planet. Geckoes for example can climb straight up walls, even across glass ceilings upside down. Their feet have been studied to learn how to make better adhesives. Now, lizards are the subject of a new investigation which includes the dinosaurs. Researchers are looking at how lizards use their tails for balance, resulting in similar mechanical “tails” for robots.

Technical application:

stabilizers

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Thorny Devil Lizard as Water Collector

Moloch_cc03.jpg.w300h199 moloch2.jpg.w300h160The thorny devil lizard, or thorny dragon, lives in the desert areas of central Australia. This lizard, just 4-6 inches long, looks ferocious with a body completely covered with thorny spines. Two additional large pointed scales on its head resemble curved horns.

How does this animal survive in a dry land where the temperature reaches 122⁰F (50⁰ C)?

Technical application:

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flexible eye lens focused by a fluid

Fish_Eye The lens in our eye has a special designed feature called accommodation. That is, the lens changes shape, curvature, or focal length to bring images into focus. When we look at a far distant object the lens becomes thinner. For nearby objects the lens thickens and becomes rounder for clear vision. The flexibility is possible because tFocus_in_an_eye.jpghe lens is somewhat jellylike. Ciliary muscles around the edge of the lens control its shape. These muscles can become fatigued, and they recover when eyes are closed.

Technical application:

optical lens technology

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Intestine – Fuel Tank

ooThis is an unusual example of practical designs found in nature. Automobiles have several new options for fuel including batteries, hydrogen gas, and natural gas. Natural gas is especially attractive because it is in good supply in the U.S., and emits only half the carbon dioxide of conventional fossil fuel. However, one challenge is to carry enough natural gas on board the vehicle for practical driving. Large, high pressure cylinders are expensive, bulky, and somewhat hazardous.

Technical application:

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will our lungs help to reduce carbon dioxid emissions on our planet?

lungsOur hard-working lungs clearly show intelligent planning. Within our lungs, countless tiny air sacks called alveoli exchange gases from the bloodstream, supplying fresh oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. The component membranes which allow separation and passage of the gases are about one thousand times thinner than a printed period. The total gas exchange area adds up to at least 70 time an adult’s total body surface area, or the size of a volleyball court. Specialized chemicals, especially carbonic anhydrase, help carry on the continuous gas exchange process.

Technical application:

Co2-filters

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