This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.
System Identifies Battery Materials for Recycling
The growing demand for Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries is also generating a huge number of spent Li-ion batteries, requiring cost-effective and environmentally sustainable recycling technologies to manage end-of-life batteries. Oak Ridge National Laboratory devised the Battery Identity Global Passport to identify the unique chemical makeup of every Li-ion battery around the world — information that could accelerate recycling, recover critical materials, and resolve a growing waste stream. The Passport could be accessible as a scannable QR code or a computer chip and could help recyclers more efficiently locate in-demand materials and accommodate the wide variety of designs used to manufacture Li-ion batteries.
Contact: Stephanie G. Seay
Pre-Treatment Water Recovery Solution
The Pre-Treatment Solution for Water Recovery technology was developed by NASA Johnson Space Center to increase the amount of potable water recovered from the International Space Station’s urine processor assembly system. The solution contains a biocide to prevent the growth of bacteria, thereby increasing storage time and the amount of water recovered. Although developed for the ISS, the solution can be used on Earth to pre-treat contaminated water, improving water recovery in applications such as desalination plants, brackish water treatment, mining water treatment, and in the transport or storage of waste or other water sources.
Contact: NASA’s Licensing Concierge
Wireless Wearable Transmitter
Wearable wireless sensors can collect a wide variety of medical data. But without a similar flexible transmitting device, these sensors would require wired connections to transmit health data. Penn State has developed a flexible, wearable transmitter that can send wireless data at a range of nearly 300 feet and can easily integrate a number of computer chips or sensors. The wearable antenna bends, stretches, and compresses without compromising function. With further research, it could have applications in health monitoring and clinical treatments as well as energy generation and storage. It could also lead to networks of sensors and transmitters worn on the body, all communicating with each other and external devices.