SI
SI
discoversearch

   Technology StocksY10K CRISIS


Previous 10 Next 10 
From: Savant8/28/2017 8:28:38 PM
   of 1179
 

More will be found, but so far>>

25 unexplained archaeological finds...some frequently mentioned, some not so often

livescience.com

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant8/30/2017 1:54:42 PM
   of 1179
 
MIT Achieves Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion
New experiments with helium-3 in a magnetic confinement tokamak have produced exciting results for the future of fusion energy, including a tenfold increase in ion energy.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant9/11/2017 1:26:08 AM
   of 1179
 

ZERGNET zergnet.com

& a whole lot more

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant9/12/2017 11:43:15 AM
   of 1179
 

FOIP facial recognition integrated w/ voice, also head tracking/

I can see politician avatars in the future...and talking heads, in general

msn.com

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant9/19/2017 10:45:01 AM
   of 1179
 
Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene


September 18, 2017


Schematic of a solar-powered electrolysis cell which converts carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon and oxygenate products with an efficiency far higher than natural photosynthesis. Power-matching electronics allow the system to operate over a … moreScientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into fuels and alcohols at efficiencies far greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant milestone in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.

Many systems have successfully reduced carbon dioxide to chemical and fuel precursors, such as carbon monoxide or a mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen known as syngas. This new work, described in a study published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, is the first to successfully demonstrate the approach of going from carbon dioxide directly to target products, namely ethanol and ethylene, at energy conversion efficiencies rivaling natural counterparts.

The researchers did this by optimizing each component of a photovoltaic-electrochemical system to reduce voltage loss, and creating new materials when existing ones did not suffice.

"This is an exciting development," said study principal investigator Joel Ager, a Berkeley Lab scientist with joint appointments in the Materials Sciences and the Chemical Sciences divisions. "As rising atmospheric CO2 levels change Earth's climate, the need to develop sustainable sources of power has become increasingly urgent. Our work here shows that we have a plausible path to making fuels directly from sunlight."

That sun-to-fuel path is among the key goals of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub established in 2010 to advance solar fuel research. The study was conducted at JCAP's Berkeley Lab campus.

The initial focus of JCAP research was tackling the efficient splitting of water in the photosynthesis process. Having largely achieved that task using several types of devices, JCAP scientists doing solar-driven carbon dioxide reduction began setting their sights on achieving efficiencies similar to those demonstrated for water splitting, considered by many to be the next big challenge in artificial photosynthesis.

Another research group at Berkeley Lab is tackling this challenge by focusing on a specific component in a photovoltaic-electrochemical system. In a study published today, they describe a new catalyst that can achieve carbon dioxide to multicarbon conversion using record-low inputs of energy.


Not just for noon
For this JCAP study, researchers engineered a complete system to work at different times of day, not just at a light energy level of 1-sun illumination, which is equivalent to the peak of brightness at high noon on a sunny day. They varied the brightness of the light source to show that the system remained efficient even in low light conditions.

When the researchers coupled the electrodes to silicon photovoltaic cells, they achieved solar conversion efficiencies of 3 to 4 percent for 0.35 to 1-sun illumination. Changing the configuration to a high-performance, tandem solar cell connected in tandem yielded a conversion efficiency to hydrocarbons and oxygenates exceeding 5 percent at 1-sun illumination.



At left is a surface view of a bimetallic copper-silver nanocoral cathode taken from a scanning electron micrograph. To the right is an energy-dispersive X-ray image of the cathode with the copper (in pink/red) and silver (in green) highlighted. Credit: Gurudayal/Berkeley Lab"We did a little dance in the lab when we reached 5 percent," said Ager, who also holds an appointment as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley's Materials Science and Engineering Department.

Among the new components developed by the researchers are a copper-silver nanocoral cathode, which reduces the carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons and oxygenates, and an iridium oxide nanotube anode, which oxidizes the water and creates oxygen.

"The nice feature of the nanocoral is that, like plants, it can make the target products over a wide range of conditions, and it is very stable," said Ager.

The researchers characterized the materials at the National Center for Electron Microscopy at the Molecular Foundry, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Berkeley Lab. The results helped them understand how the metals functioned in the bimetallic cathode. Specifically, they learned that silver aids in the reduction of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, while the copper picks up from there to reduce carbon monoxide further to hydrocarbons and alcohols.

Seeking better, low-energy breakups

Because carbon dioxide is a stubbornly stable molecule, breaking it up typically involves a significant input of energy.

"Reducing CO2 to a hydrocarbon end product like ethanol or ethylene can take up to 5 volts, start to finish," said study lead author Gurudayal, postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley Lab. "Our system reduced that by half while maintaining the selectivity of products."

Notably, the electrodes operated well in water, a neutral pH environment.

"Research groups working on anodes mostly do so using alkaline conditions since anodes typically require a high pH environment, which is not ideal for the solubility of CO2," said Gurudayal. "It is very difficult to find an anode that works in neutral conditions."

The researchers customized the anode by growing the iridium oxide nanotubes on a zinc oxide surface to create a more uniform surface area to better support chemical reactions.

"By working through each step so carefully, these researchers demonstrated a level of performance and efficiency that people did not think was possible at this point," said Berkeley Lab chemist Frances Houle, JCAP deputy director for Science and Research Integration, who was not part of the study. "This is a big step forward in the design of devices for efficient CO2 reduction and testing of new materials, and it provides a clear framework for the future advancement of fully integrated solar-driven CO2-reduction devices."

Explore further: Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion

More information: Gurudayal Gurudayal et al, Efficient solar-driven electrochemical CO2 reduction to hydrocarbons and oxygenates, Energy Environ. Sci. (2017). DOI: 10.1039/c7ee01764b

Journal reference: Energy and Environmental Science

Provided by: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-09-solar-to-fuel-recycles-co2-ethanol-ethylene.html#jCp

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant9/22/2017 6:54:20 PM
   of 1179
 
Synthetic muscle breakthrough could lead to 'lifelike' robots

Researchers claim it's the closest artificial material equivalent to a natural muscle.

Saqib Shah, @eightiethmnt
engagdet
September 21, 2107



Westworld / HBO
_____________________

A breakthrough in soft robotics means scientists are now one step closer to creating lifelike machines. Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a 3D printed synthetic tissue that can act as active muscle. The material, which can push, pull, bend, and twist (thanks to its use of silicone rubber and ethanol-dispensing micro-bubbles) is also capable of carrying 1,000 times its own weight. Not only could the invention result in super-strong machines (like a Terminator that works in manufacturing), but it will also release soft robots from their current shackles.

You see, synthetic muscle tech is presently reliant on tethered external compressors or high voltage equipment. But, robots fitted with this new tissue could theoretically be freed up to move around like humans, enabling them to better grip and pick up objects. Which is a big deal, because the plan is to eventually get these bots to help with non-invasive surgeries and to care for the elderly -- among other tasks.



The researchers are touting the material as the first synthetic muscle that can withstand both high-actuation stress and high strain. "We've been making great strides toward making robots minds, but robot bodies are still primitive," said lead scientist Hod Lipson. "This is a big piece of the puzzle and, like biology, the new actuator can be shaped and reshaped a thousand ways. We've overcome one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots."

After 3D printing it into the desired shape, the team electrically actuated the artificial muscle using a thin resistive wire and low-power (8V). They then tested it in a variety of robotic applications, where it demonstrated significant expansion-contraction ability. The researchers claim the synthetic tissue is also capable of expanding up to 900 percent when electrically heated to 80°C.

Building on their initial findings, the team plans to incorporate conductive materials to replace the need for the connecting wire. Further down the line, they intend to combine it with artificial intelligence that can learn to control the muscle, resulting in (they hope) "natural" movement.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/21/synthetic-muscle-soft-robot-breakthrough/

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant9/26/2017 2:20:13 PM
   of 1179
 

Sleep msn.com

Hearing regeneration in owls
msn.com

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant9/27/2017 10:40:20 AM
   of 1179
 

Energy generation/Evaporative engine... impractical for now, but very innovative

technologyreview.com

Evaporation Engines Could Produce More Power Than Coal, with a Huge Caveat
A new study suggests we could tap into natural evaporation for a huge part of our energy needs, but it would come at a high cost to our freshwater resources. by James Temple September 26, 2017



2


Technology that can tap into the renewable power of natural water evaporation could produce a huge portion of the nation's energy needs—at least theoretically (see " Scientists Capture the Energy of Evaporation to Drive Tiny Engines").

Prototype "evaporation-driven engines" generate power from the motion of bacterial spores that expand and contract as they absorb and release air moisture. If it could be done efficiently and affordably, the devices could provide more than 325 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity, outpacing coal, according to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications.



That, however, would require covering the surface of every lake and reservoir larger than 0.1 square kilometers in the lower 48 states, excluding the Great Lakes, with arrays of the devices. Obviously, that would directly conflict with existing economic and recreational uses, and raise a host of serious aesthetic and environmental concerns. Notably, interfering with evaporation on a large enough scale, across a big enough lake, could even alter local weather.

But study coauthor Ozgur Sahin says that the paper is more of a thought experiment designed to underscore the potential of the technology and the importance of advancing it beyond lab scale, rather than any sort of literal development proposal.

Sahin, an associate professor of biological sciences and physics at Columbia University, believes it could make a significant contribution to clean-energy and climate goals, even if it's never rolled out at anywhere near the potential extent highlighted in the study.

He says that early use cases could include remote reservoirs already generating hydroelectric power, where it's not as likely to interfere with other uses. It could offer the added benefit of reducing water loss through evaporation, increasing the amount available for energy generation, irrigation, and other needs.



The team of scientists also created a tiny, evaporation-powered car, dubbed Eva. Sahin and colleagues at Columbia have been working on this technology for years. In a 2015 paper, the team described an evaporation engine that relied on Bacillus subtilis spores adhered to stacks of film attached to shutter mechanisms. When the device is placed above water, the spores absorb moisture from natural evaporation and expand, opening the shutter and allowing moisture to escape. The spores then dry out and contract, closing the shutter once again, and allowing additional air moisture to flow in and restart the process. When the device is connected to a generator, the continual oscillating motion generates a tiny amount of power.

As MIT Technology Review previously reported: "An eight-centimeter-by-eight-centimeter water surface can produce about two microwatts of electricity (a microwatt is one-millionth of a watt), on average, and can burst up to 60 microwatts."

The team has continued to work on improving the efficiency and scalability of the technology, exploring additional materials and means of spore adhesion. Because the technology is largely based on biological materials, the eventual cost could be lower than solar photovoltaic cells and other technologies that require specially manufactured materials, Sahin believes.

Crucially, Bacillus subtilis spores continue to perform the necessary mechanical motion even when they're dead or dormant.

In addition, the technology largely avoids the intermittency limitations of wind and solar power because, while evaporation rates change, they don't stop. Moreover, since the devices decrease the evaporation rate, they also raise the temperate of surface water. Modeling in the new study showed that by deliberating altering the rate of this process, they could create a kind of thermal water battery that balances out generation and demand. When throttled up, the heat in the water would increase evaporation, boosting power generation.

“We could match power demand on an hourly basis about 98 percent of the time in warm and dry places,” Sahin says. “Which means you don’t need an external battery to adjust for intermittency.”





Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant9/30/2017 2:07:55 PM
   of 1179
 
msn.com

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: Savant10/5/2017 9:55:27 PM
   of 1179
 

Mayo Clinic Water cremation>> video.vice.com

1/12th the energy, less pollution

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read
Previous 10 Next 10 

Copyright © 1995-2017 Knight Sac Media. All rights reserved.Stock quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes - See Terms of Use.