ANSWERS: 7
  • I'm not completely sure about this but I think ultrasound can only be used to make things smaller, like with gall stones.
  • It is not economically feasible nor an effecient method. Plus it does not make sense in terms of time consumed and expenses incurred. And think about the size or number of machines required to destroy a small amount of garbage? There are better and more effecient ways to deal with garbage.
  • It would take an enormous amount of energy to destroy rubbish using ultrasound, a far better method was shown on Discovery (UK) the other day, an electric current passed through an inert gas, superheats the gas, which then becomes white hot plasma, and totally incinerates the rubbish, generating heat, which then is harnessed to produce power. The process has been refined to a point where it produces fives times the power it uses! An environmentally sustainable alternative to landfill and nuclear power! Stonking!
  • it would be a huge carbon footprint
  • 1) "Biological treatment processes are widely used in the wastewater treatment industries. However, aerobic and anaerobic treatment processes can result in sludge that is difficult to treat and handle. Typical problems during anaerobic digestion include low biogas production, poor volatile solids (VS) destruction and poor degradation of refractory materials leading to operational problems and foaming. During activated sludge treatment, problems include excessive development of filamentous bacteria causing floating and bulking sludge and deterioration of the settling properties of sludge. Finally, problems during dewatering include high polymer/additive consumption and poor dewatering with low dry solids product. These problems increase the operating costs of biological treatment processes. In an effort to develop a method to preclude these problems and to provide effective sludge treatment, IWEtec (Innovative Water and Environmental Technologies, Germany) and Dirk European Holdings, Ltd. (United Kingdom) have developed the "DIRK Power Ultrasound" treatment. Full-scale application of this treatment in Germany has shown that the use of this patented split-flow disintegration by means of high-powered ultrasound offers a reliable and cost-effective means to treat wastewater treatment sludge. The treatment results in a decrease in sludge quantity (volume and mass) and increases the biogas yield. It also results in a higher dry solids output and a lower requirement for polymer/additives in the dewatering process." Source and further information: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/DEP/DEPutate/Watermgt/WSM/WSM_TAO/InnovTech/ProjReviews/Ultrasound-Disintegr.htm 2) "Hoffman uses ultrasound to break down hazardous wastes in liquids. By subjecting toxic molecules in solution to the intense energies of ultrasonic vibrations, he finds that the toxins will separate into their nontoxic components." "When focused into a liquid, ultrasonic vibrations generate tiny bubbles that superheat, expand, and collapse in only a few microseconds. Temperatures inside the bubbles can reach 5,500[degrees]C, causing complex molecules inside the fluid to break apart. Hoffman likens the process to liquid "incineration." In one test, Hoffman's group exposed the pesticide parathion to ultrasound at 20 kHz, delivering 75 watts of energy per square centimeter. The entire sample broke down in 2 hours, quickening degradation from a half-life of 108 days to 30 minutes. A new apparatus delivers up to 3 million watts. Hoffman also reports using this method to break down several nasty pollutants in the laboratory -- which suggests that PCBs, widely used in batteries, and solvents such as TCE and PCE should succumb as well." Source and further information: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Ultrasound+destroys+toxic+liquid+waste-a016415853 3) "Ultrasound recycling: High-power ultrasound is applied to the cured rubber during extrusion, and the high pressure, heat and mechanical energy break the cross-links, making the extrudate a gum rubber-like new material, that can be re-cured and molded into new rubber products." Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_recycling#Ultrasound_recycling 4) "Ultrasound can be used in manufacturing paper and in paper recycling processes for: · preventing watermarks or lines that would reduce the paper quality, by degassing the pulp · enhancing the fibrillation of the pulp fibres o replacement and/or enhancement of beating and/or refining stages o using less energy than conventional beating processes o fibre strength is maintained and chemical reactions (such as TDF bleaching) are assisted · enhancing the breakdown of wood chip into pulp or for the breakdown of used paper into pulp for reprocessing into recycled paper · extracting of dirt, oil, printed inks (de-inking), colorants, or lacquer from paper during the process of recycling (fibre cleaning) · dewatering · cutting or punching of finished sheets · reduction of microbes in whitewater · spaying liquids onto the manufactured paper (such as coating) · homogenizing or dispersing of paper slurries · sieving of wet or dry fibers" Source and further information: http://www.energymanagertraining.com/pulp_paper/pdf/Ultrasound%20In%20Paper%20Manufacturing%20and%20Recycling.pdf 5) "POURING precious metals down the drain is not only expensive but environmentally unsound. Silver-based solutions are widely used in photography, and normally only about 80 per cent of the silver is recovered for reuse. But Bruno Pollet, a postgraduate at Coventry University, says he can recover 95 per cent using ultrasound to boost the traditional recycling process." Source and further information: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg15120443.300-technology--bubbles-boost-silver-recycling.html
  • Unless ultrasound can convert rubbish into useful energy, you would still be left with waste! The Laws of Thermodynamics makes it impossible to acheive. If ultrasound could be used to reduce rubbish down to basic chemical elements then it will cause a major chemical hazard that would need to be dealt with (called rubbish). Also the fuel needed to power the ultrasound will cause the production of rubbish! Sadly, the Laws of Thermodynamics will always be out to get yer!

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