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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 3, No. 06. June 30, 2008
ISSN 1932-3018

Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on an advance in green technology - the effective use of biological materials and organisms to clean up oil spills. The product is called a Petroleum Remediation Product (PRP), and is made from beeswax. It is used together with ground corncob. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it is concerned with the functionality of matter processing.
The procedure combines four environmentally friendly features:
  • The removal of pollutants from the environment
  • The use of a natural biological product as base material
  • The ability of the product to encapsulate spilt oil
  • The use of biological organisms to digest the encapsulating product together with the ingested oil
The PRP uses microcapsules, consisting of small balls of beeswax with hollow centers. These balls absorb and bind with petroleum, or other hydrocarbon products. Naturally occurring microbes then feed on these balls. About one fifth of naturally occurring microbes are able to break down petroleum.
According to Reuters, the Petroleum Remediation Product was conceived and developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to "permanently removes petroleum-based pollutants from water or soil". The capsules "grew out of NASA biological encapsulation research and experimentation in the orbital production of microspheres". ("Space Technology Hall of Fame Inducts NASA Spin-off Technologies" Reuters, April 10, 2008).
Products based on this technology have been launched commercially (by Universal Remediation, Inc.). Small-scale remediation is deemed feasible. The availability of source material will influence further development.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.