An Iranian scientist has designed an advanced power-generating bioreactor for space shuttles that uses the new microbial fuel cell technique to turn plastic waste into electricity in a process he describes as the fastest and most efficient in the world. world.
The state-of-the-art reactor was designed by Hamed Milani, a researcher and physician from Mazandaran province in northern Iran.
It also decomposes different types of plastic waste in the shortest time, solving the problem of recycling waste in space.
“The state-of-the-art power-generating reactor system that will be used in spacecraft has been designed and built for the first time in the world… It can convert plastic waste into bioelectricity using technology from microbial fuel cells,” Milani said, IRNA reported. Friday.
“The project consists of two next-generation reactors capable of converting different types of plastics into their building blocks in 14 hours, which is the fastest plastic decomposition time in the world, using the carbon produced in the process and the advanced microbial fuel cell. system to generate the electricity needed for space shuttles,” he added.
The question of recycling waste in space is a major challenge faced by astronauts. According to Milani, the amount of waste generated during a space mission is around 2500 kg per year.
He said the issue of recycling waste in space has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, describing it as essential for long-term space travel.
“Reduce the amount of pollution and biohazards from space waste in the aviation industry, reduce the overall weight and space occupied in the spacecraft, the ability of bacteria to multiply, develop energy-generating processes to lower cost and reducing the amount of fuel consumed are other benefits of using the new microbial fuel cell technology,” he explained.
Moreover, the Iranian researcher pointed out that his project is more efficient, simpler and faster than other plastic decomposition methods in the world.
“So far, mechanical and chemical methods have been used to decompose different types of plastics, and only a few countries, including the United States and Japan, have developed the new biotechnology to decompose plastics,” he said. he adds.
Last year, Milani was awarded the Silver Medal of the Istanbul International Invention Fair (ISIF) 2021 World Invention Competition in Turkey for his work on increasing the rate of plastic decomposition and his discovery of the new strain of bacteria.
The competition brought together around a thousand drawings and inventions by researchers from 150 countries.
The event took place from September 20 to 26 in Istanbul. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the closing ceremony.