Engineers from Duke University are reporting results from the first large-scale, real-world field trials of critical components of their off-grid sanitation system funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's 'Reinvent the Toilet' program. Besides being pleasantly surprised at the longevity of their system and discovering their nutrient removal processes needed improvement, the Duke researchers were reminded of just how important cultural practices can be to the success of a global engineering challenge.
Graphene has attracted the interest of researchers in recent years because, despite its apparent anti-corrosive properties, its proximity was seen to increase the corrosion of copper. A research team from Chung-Ang University used Raman spectroscopy to analyze graphene's properties over a long period and found that the corroded surface of copper forms a hybrid layer with graphene, which prevents further corrosion. These findings could have potential applications in extending the life of copper--a common component of various electronic devices.
An international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals: some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world -- well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates. For about a third of these substances, there is a lack of publicly accessible information.
Water is split into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis, but if CO2 is also added to the mixture, compounds can be generated to make textiles, diapers and even spirits. American scientists, led by a Spaniard, have developed a catalyst that accelerates this reaction, while also removing a greenhouse gas.
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Duisburg-Essen have developed a new method of depositing catalyst particles to tiny electrodes. It is inexpensive, simple and quick to perform. In order to characterize catalysts and test their potential for various applications, researchers have to fix the particles to electrodes so that they can then be examined, for example, with transmission electron microscopy.
Standard comfort measurements used to design heating and cooling systems share a common flaw, according to new research. The researchers said the error was caused by the standard instrument used to measure thermal effects of radiant heating and cooling. The instrument and associated formulas used to calculate comfort based on the sensor's readings do not properly account for air flow called free convection. The failure led to temperature errors of over two degrees Celsius.
An interdisciplinary team of bio-engineers and economists from KU Leuven has mapped out how wood could replace petroleum in the chemical industry. They not only looked at the technological requirements, but also whether that scenario would be financially viable. A shift from petroleum to wood would lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions, the researchers state in Science.
One of the world's most horrific environmental disasters--the 1950 and 60s mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan--may have been caused by a previously unstudied form of mercury discharged directly from a chemical factory, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has found.
Researchers have succeeded for the first time in temporally shaping the electric field of an attosecond pulse.
Academics at UCL have identified 18 reasons why megaprojects such as HS2 and Crossrail often fail, as well as 54 preventative solutions. For the first time, academics developed a systematic literature review of the causes and cures of poor megaproject performance. They identified six key themes and looked at areas where a project might fail, analysing the problems and solutions. The study was published in Project Management Journal.