Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagJohn Van Leuewen

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Engineer's gloved hand is holding the CPU chip on the background of the motherboard. High-tech hardware microelectronics

Big Innovations Can Depend on Really Little Things

Stuff that is far too small to see can change the world

The opening panel on Thursday morning at COSM 2022 was “The New Nanocosm.” — the world of really small things like molecules. The first panelist to speak was Chris Harrison, CEO of CTEC (“Clean Thermodynamic Energy Conversion”) Energy, a British company which seeks to convert industrial waste into energy. Its basic premise is that there is “an incredible amount of excess heat that was coming off engines and going into the atmosphere,” and this heat could be converted into usable work. The company takes waste materials — Harrison cited municipal solid waste, medical waste, chemical waste, hazardous waste — and uses it to generate electricity. The remaining waste can also be re-purposed. The conversion process yields a “fine ash” which…