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Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

Tota et al. | Mar 28, 2019

Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

One of the greatest challenges we face today is the sustainable production, storage, and distribution of electrical power. One emerging technology with great promise in this area is that of metal-air fuel cells—a long-term and reusable electricity storage system made from a reactive metal anode and a saline solution. In this study the authors tested several different types of metal to determine which was the most suitable for this application. They found that a fuel cell with a magnesium anode was superior to fuel cells made from aluminum or zinc, producing a voltage and current sufficient for real-world applications such as charging a mobile phone.

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Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Aggarwal et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Reducing paint drying time is an important step in improving production efficiency and reducing costs. The authors hypothesized that decreased humidity would lead to faster drying, ultraviolet (UV) light exposure would not affect the paint colors differently, white light exposure would allow for longer wavelength colors to dry at a faster rate than shorter wavelength colors, and substrates with higher roughness would dry slower. Experiments showed that trials under high humidity dried slightly faster than trials under low humidity, contrary to the hypothesis. Overall, the paint drying process is very much dependent on its surrounding environment, and optimizing the drying process requires a thorough understanding of the environmental factors and their interactive effects with the paint constituents.

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Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

Klein-Hessling Barrientos et al. | May 27, 2020

Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

The authors investigate whether amylase or yeast had a more prominent role in determining the bioethanol concentration and bioethanol yield of banana samples. They hypothesized that amylase would have the most significant impact on the bioethanol yield and concentration of the samples. They found that while yeast is an essential component for producing bioethanol, the proportion of amylase supplied through a joint amylase-yeast mixture has a more significant impact on the bioethanol yield. This study provides a greater understanding of the mechanisms and implications involved in enzyme-based biofuel production, specifically of those pertaining to amylase and yeast.

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Development of Two New Efficient Means of Wastewater Treatment

Bao et al. | Feb 06, 2014

Development of Two New Efficient Means of Wastewater Treatment

The water we use must be treated and cleaned before we release it back into the environment. Here, the authors investigate two new techniques for purifying dissolved impurities from waste water. Their findings may give rise to more cheaper and more efficient water treatment and help keep the planet greener.

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Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Prahalad et al. | Jul 31, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Industrialization has transformed human life and improved it for many. Nonetheless, a side effect has been an increase in chemical waste, which when not disposed of properly, has detrimental effects on surrounding habitats. An increase in ocean acidification could potentially affect many forms of life, disrupting the ecological balance in unforeseeable ways. In this article the authors explore the effect of acidification on corals and shells, and observe that an increase in ocean acidity has a significant effect on corals, but not shells. This illustrates how acidification could negatively affect marine life, and calls our attention to managing the factors that contribute to increasing the pH of the Earth's water bodies.

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How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

Everitt et al. | Feb 15, 2021

How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

As the world struggled to grapple with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries instated policies to help minimize the spread of the virus among residents. This inadvertently led to a decrease in travel, and in some cases, industrial output, two major sources of pollutants in today's world. Here, the authors investigate whether California's shelter-in-place policy was associated with a measurable decrease in water and air pollution in that state between June and July of 2020, compared to the preceeding five years. Their findings suggest that, by some metrics, air quality improved within certain areas while water quality was relatively unchanged. Overall, these findings suggest that changing human behavior can, indeed, help reduce the level of air pollutants that compromise air quality.

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Analysis of reduction potentials to determine the most efficient metals for electrochemical cell alternatives

Carroll et al. | Jul 10, 2020

Analysis of reduction potentials to determine the most efficient metals for electrochemical cell alternatives

In this study, the authors investigate what metals make the most efficient electrochemical cells, which are batteries that use the difference in electrical potential to generate electricity. Calculations predicted that a cell made of iron and magnesium would have the highest efficiency. Construction of an electrochemical cell of iron and magnesium produced voltages close to the theoretical voltage predicted. These findings are important as work continues towards making batteries with the highest storage efficiency possible.

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