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Thermoelectric Power Generation: Harnessing Solar Thermal Energy to Power an Air Conditioner

Lew et al. | Jul 06, 2021

Thermoelectric Power Generation: Harnessing Solar Thermal Energy to Power an Air Conditioner

The authors test the feasibility of using thermoelectric modules as a power source and as an air conditioner to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. The results showed that, at its peak, their battery generated 27% more power – in watts per square inch – than a solar panel, and the thermoelectric air conditioner operated despite an unsteady input voltage. The battery has incredible potential, especially if its peak power output can be maintained.

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Statistically Analyzing the Effect of Various Factors on the Absorbency of Paper Towels

Tao et al. | Dec 04, 2020

Statistically Analyzing the Effect of Various Factors on the Absorbency of Paper Towels

In this study, the authors investigate just how effectively paper towels can absorb different types of liquid and whether changing the properties of the towel (such as folding it) affects absorbance. Using variables of either different liquid types or the folded state of the paper towels, they used thorough approaches to make some important and very useful conclusions about optimal ways to use paper towels. This has important implications as we as a society continue to use more and more paper towels.

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Presoaking Seeds with Vinegar Improves Seed Development and Drought Tolerance in Maize Plants

D'Agate et al. | Jul 24, 2020

Presoaking Seeds with Vinegar Improves Seed Development and Drought Tolerance in Maize Plants

Climate change has contributed to the increasing annual temperatures around the world and poses a grave threat to Maize crops. Two methods proven to help combat plant drought stress effects are presoaking seeds (seeds are soaked in a liquid before planting) and the application of Acetic Acid (vinegar) to soil. The purpose of this experiment was to explore if combining these two methods by presoaking seeds with a vinegar solution can improve the seed development and plant drought tolerance of Maize plants during drought conditions.

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Suppress that algae: Mitigating the effects of harmful algal blooms through preemptive detection & suppression

Natarjan et al. | Jul 17, 2023

Suppress that algae: Mitigating the effects of harmful algal blooms through preemptive detection & suppression
Image credit: Sharanya Natarjan

A bottleneck in deleting algal blooms is that current data section is manual and is reactionary to an existing algal bloom. These authors made a custom-designed Seek and Destroy Algal Mitigation System (SDAMS) that detects harmful algal blooms at earlier time points with astonishing accuracy, and can instantaneously suppress the pre-bloom algal population.

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Building an affordable model wave energy converter using a magnet and a coil

Choy et al. | Jul 05, 2023

Building an affordable model wave energy converter using a magnet and a coil
Image credit: Joshua Smith

Here, seeking to identify a method to locally produce and capture renewable energy in Hawai'i and other island communities, the authors built and tested a small-scale model wave energy converter. They tested various configurations of a floated magnet surrounded by a wire coal, where the motion of the magnet due to a wave results in induction current in the coil. While they identified methods to increase the voltage and current generated, they also found that corrosion results in significant deterioration.

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Antibacterial Effects of Copper Surfaces

Mulukutla et al. | May 19, 2020

Antibacterial Effects of Copper Surfaces

This study examined the ability of copper and copper alloy surfaces to inhibit bacterial growth, which may be help prevent healthcare-associated infections. The authors exposed two non-pathogenic strains of bacteria to different metal plates for varying degrees of time and measured bacterial growth.

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The Effects of Micro-Algae Characteristics on the Bioremediation Rate of Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil

Cao et al. | Jun 17, 2013

The Effects of Micro-Algae Characteristics on the Bioremediation Rate of Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil

Environmental disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill can be devastating to ecosystems for long periods of time. Safer, cheaper, and more effective methods of oil clean-up are needed to clean up oil spills in the future. Here, the authors investigate the ability of natural ocean algae to process crude oil into less toxic chemicals. They identify Coccochloris elabens as a particularly promising algae for future bioremediation efforts.

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Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation

Gupta et al. | Jan 31, 2023

 Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation
Image credit: Markus Spiske

Here, recognizing the recognizing the growing threat of non-biodegradable plastic waste, the authors investigated the ability to use a modified enzyme identified in bacteria to decompose polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They used simulations to screen and identify an optimized enzyme based on machine learning models. Ultimately, they identified a potential mutant PETases capable of decomposing PET with improved thermal stability.

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