Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lab work at last!

So I started learning in the lab yesterday.  I guess that was my primary reason/excuse for coming here, but I honestly haven't been all that sad not to do lab work.  But I'm still excited for it.  One of the grad students is working on single-chamber microbial fuel cells.  The ultimate goal for the concept is use in wastewater treatment plants to generate electricity while removing organic material.  He is doing some study on whether or not it improves power output to spin the anode, and is also trying to convert one of the reactors from a batch reactor to continuous flow.

He's going to be gone in Harbin next week to give a presentation, so I'm going to help babysit his reactors and feed them substrate every day.  It's pretty exciting, though a little weird at first.  I think it's always hard to come into a new place to do work, because you have no idea what to do.  

I had dinner with my language partner on Sunday (he cooked Chinese food, and next time I'll make western food) and talked for about 3 hours in mostly Chinese.  Someone who lived down the hall came to chat, and I had an entire conversation in Chinese.  Also, my language partner has a classmate from University who's doing her Ph.D. at the U of M Civil Engineering Dept.  I wonder if I've seen her.

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