What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

New Fuel Cells Make Much More Energy From Waste

August 23, 2012, 7:18 PM

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Governments and others who are looking to take advantage of waste-to-energy technologies may want to check out what Oregon State University scientists have been up to. They designed a microbial fuel cell that can generate up to 50 times more electricity from waste treatment plants than other types of cells. The microorganisms "break down the particles directly on an anode, which generates electrons and protons. These transfer from the anode to a cathode...which creates an electric current." Each cell can "produce more than two kilowatts per cubic meter of waste."

What's the Big Idea?

Fuel cells such as these may allow waste treatment plants to generate their own electricity rather than depend on the grid. In addition to the environmental savings made by implementing sustainability, use of these fuel cells sidesteps the creation of methane and other potentially harmful byproducts produced in current waste treatments. Other facilities that handle waste, such as breweries and animal processing plants, could use this technology as well.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


New Fuel Cells Make Much Mo...

Newsletter: Share: