Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

Harnessing Noise Power


Developments to Watch

HARNESSING NOISE POWER

The roar of a rocket blasting off is the sound of raw power. In fact, the sound waves pack so much energy that if they throb with a certain pulsating beat, they can literally tear a rocket apart. The Pentagon and NASA have spent bundles to prevent this. But Ben T. Zinn, a professor of aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, figured there ought to be a way to harness this power. His company, Sonotech Inc. in Atlanta, has developed a pulsed-combustion system that promises dramatic improvements in the performance of municipal incinerators. It should also reduce fuel consumption and emissions in big industrial furnaces.

Essentially, the Sonotech system is an overgrown trombone slide. It uses motorized baffles to adjust the dimensions inside a combustion chamber until it resonates with sound power. Properly tuned, a furnace's own roar fans the flames, adding energy to the combustion process and thus boosting its efficiency. In a test at an Environmental Protection Agency incinerator in North Carolina, EPA officials were also pleased by a 50% to 75% reduction in soot emissions. Sonotech is now outfitting a large cement-making furnace in Colorado owned by the big German cement company, Polysius.EDITED BY OTIS PORT


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus