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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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Capturing Harmful Air Pollutants Using an Electrospun Mesh Embedded with Zinc-based Nanocrystals

Doppalapudi et al. | May 12, 2020

Capturing Harmful Air Pollutants Using an Electrospun Mesh Embedded with Zinc-based Nanocrystals

Zeolithic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is a specific metal-organic framework that has favorable qualities for use in an air filter and is known to be capable of adsorbing particulate matter. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine the effectiveness of ZIF-8 in adsorbing polar, gaseous air pollutants, specifically nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. In order to determine effectiveness, the percent change in concentration for various gases after the application of ZIF-8 crystals was measured via Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The work highlights crystals as a potentially promising alternative or addition to current filter materials to reduce atmospheric pollution.

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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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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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The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition: An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

Delatorre et al. | May 20, 2015

The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition: An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

The cause of insect colony collapse disorder (CCD) is still a mystery. In this study, the authors aimed to test the effects of two environmental factors, water vapor and smoke levels, on the social behavior and physical condition of insects. Their findings could help shed light on how changing environmental factors can contribute to CCD.

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Formation and sticking of air bubbles in water in d-block containers

Gupta et al. | Jun 21, 2021

Formation and sticking of air bubbles in water in d-block containers

Bubbles! In this study, the authors investigate the effects that different materials, temperature, and distance have on the formation of water bubbles on the surface of copper and steel. They calculated mathematical relations based on the outcomes to better understand whether interstitial hydrogen present in the d-block metals form hydrogen bonds with the water bubbles to account for the structural and mechanical stability.

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