Researching technologies for an energy sustainable water infrastructure

  • Logan Bioenergy Lab, Sackett Room 128

The main focus of the Logan lab is the development of new renewable energy technologies, such as microbial fuel cells, for achieving an energy sustainable water infrastructure. 
Penn State News.
We are also working on education efforts related to energy use and climate change. 

Current Research Topics

Daily Energy Use and Carbon Emissions, by Bruce Logan (Published by Wiley). Now available! (Electronic and paper version now available) ISBN: 978-1-119-83102-0
In this book I try to simplify large and different units of energy into quantities that we can understand relative to our energy use. Daily energy in food is 1 D (2000 Calories), the amount of carbon we emit from eating that food is 1 C (2 lb), and the minimum water we need is 1 w (1 gallon). Using these units we can compare energy use in a gallon of gas with the energy used by our home all in simple numbers that range from around 1 to 100. The book contains many examples on calculating energy use and carbon emissions for people and our infrastructure (homes, buildings, cars, steel and concrete), as well as an analysis of what we need to do in order to minimize climate change. The last chapter is an overall assessment of our challenges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and what that will require from both our low lifestyle as well as the global community of businesses and governments. Visit the Daily Energy Unit D website. Also, see some new presentations on daily energy use and water electrolyzers.
Bioelectricity using Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) and other applications. [Summary] [MFC website] Biohydrogen production using Microbial Electrolysis Cells. [Summary] [Website]

H2 production by water electrolysis using seawater
PSU News story. See also TV newstory

Thermally regenerated batteries (TRBs) to generate electricity using low-grade waste heat. [Website]
Desalination or ammonia recovery using battery electrode deionization
Reducing fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) desalination membranes

Current funding: Link to all funded projects in the Logan lab.

 Other Recent Research Topics

Membrane bioreactors:  For low-strength wastewaters (<~200 mg/L of COD) hollow fiber membrane bioreactors that contain a high concentration of granular activated carbon (GAC) can be used to effectively treat and filter wastewater. We have worked primarily with anaerobic membrane bioreactors, where the GAC is kept suspended using recirculation, but also with micro-aerobic bioreactors where the GAC is suspended by both air bubbles and recirculation. You can visit the xMBR page for information on these reactors, or more generally on membrane research at Penn State.
Electricity from salinity gradients
: The same technologies used for desalination can be modified and used for energy production. We are looking at using a new desalination technology developed in our lab called BDI with solutions of different salinities, such as freshwater and seawater, to produce electricity. There are many different types of salinity gradient energy technologies (SGE), but the ones that are being researched in our laboratory include: BDI, reverse electrodialysis (RED), capacitive mixing cells (CapMix) to extract energy based on electrode capacitance, and concentration flow cell-based (CFC) batteries that use pseudo-capactive electrode reactions to extract energy as electricity.

Past Research Topics

Other research topics in the Logan Lab have included: particle dynamics, such as marine snow formation in the ocean, coagulation processes that produce fractal particles, and bioadhesion/bacterial transport in groundwater and filters; modeling of trickling filters; the development of a simplified measurement of biochemical oxygen demand call the HBOD test; perchlorate remediation; the degradation of pollutants using white rot fungi; and molecular-scale techniques to study particle dynamics and microbial adhesion in engineered and natural systems.

About Bruce Logan

Bruce Logan is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE), a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and a Fellow of: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), International Water Association (IWA), the Water Environment Foundation (WEF), and the Association of Environmental Science and Engineering Professors (AEESP). He is a collaborator with KAUST (Saudi Arabia), a former Franqui International Chair at Ghent University (2013, Belgium); and a visiting professor at Newcastle University (UK), Tsinghua University, Harbin Institute of Technology, and Dalian University of Technology (China).  LOGAN CV
For a list of publications and citation information: Logan Google scholar- citations.

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