Tobacco is one of the main causes of death nowadays. Nevertheless, a virus that usually affects to the tobacco plant – tobacco mosaic – can be a great solution to enhance de efficiency of power plants that make use of steam as their main resource.
Water is used in several processes everyday as PhD. Matthew McCarthy says:
“Phase-change heat transfer plays an important role in everything from power generation to water purification, HVAC and electronics cooling. Increasing performance of these systems would translate to significant improvements in the way we produce, consume and conserve our energy and water resources.”
One of the main problems of current boiling facilities is overheating. When huge amounts of water evaporates for a long time, steam can create a thin layer between water and the boiling surface. This can be a dangerous fact that can turn out even “the meltdown of a nuclear reactor”. The solution involves maintaining the surface wet.
Tobacco mosaic can be a great step to achieve this. Thanks to it, a super hidrophylic surface can be created. Heat is released into water constantly and no steam layer is created. The viruses are fixed to the surface with a mixture of steel, aluminium, copper, other metals and polymers.
An amazing application of biomimicry for building services in a big scale.
You can find more information in Drexel University website.