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Science Nation: Bacteria--Energy Producers of the Future?

2 minutes 34 seconds

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Now Playing As: Captioned (English) (change)

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Water is used by everyone, and in the process, a lot of it goes to waste. Whether it goes down drains, sewers, or toilets, much of it ends up at a wastewater treatment plant where it undergoes rigorous cleaning before it flows back to the environment. The process takes time, money and a lot of energy. What if that wastewater could be turned into energy? It almost sounds too good to be true, but environmental engineer Bruce Logan is working on ways to make it happen. With support from the National Science Foundation, Logan and his team at Penn State University are taking the idea a step further. They are developing microbial fuel cells to channel the bacteria's hard work into energy.

Media Details

Runtime: 2 minutes 34 seconds

Computer screens with color-shaded images of a spiral shaped storm. Caption: study hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards from the inside.
Science Nation
Episode 1
3 minutes 14 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Person filling a glass from a faucet. Caption: our risk of contracting some form of cancer would go up.
Science Nation
Episode 2
3 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Green landscape with a hillside in the background. A small industrial installation is present. Caption: They don't know where to get information they can trust.
Science Nation
Episode 3
3 minutes 7 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Robotic arms manipulating a small ball. Caption: is pushing the world of robotics and prosthetics
Science Nation
Episode 4
3 minutes 47 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Bolt of lightning arcing from cloud to ground. Caption: we all want up-to-the-minute information.
Science Nation
Episode 5
3 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Cluster of nerve fibers. Caption: that can image deep into biological tissue,
Science Nation
Episode 6
3 minutes 6 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Dirty water with bubbles and PVC pipes. Caption: and reused again and again in a sustainable loop.
Science Nation
Episode 7
3 minutes 4 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Person with a fabric cap strapped to their head. The cap has metal rivets and wires attached. Captions: (female) it feels maybe like a mild itchy or tingling sensation.
Science Nation
Episode 8
3 minutes 3 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Microscopic image showing web-like structures and C shaped tubular organisms. Caption: (narrator) The soil itself is home to a vast number of tiny microbes,
Science Nation
Episode 9
3 minutes 35 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
White glowing orb against a black grid. Caption: Weakly Interacting Massive Particle
Science Nation
Episode 10
3 minutes 19 seconds
Grade Level: 10 - 12