These rechargeable batteries are more sustainable and safer than lithium—and half the cost

 

source: fastcompany.com  |  image: pexels.com

The battery is water-based and uses other cheap, readily available materials like manganese and metal oxide.

 

Since lithium-ion batteries were first sold 30 years ago, they’ve dropped in cost by 97%. But they’re still too expensive for making electric cars that can compete in cost with fossil-fueled cars without subsidies, or to economically store wind and solar power on the grid. That’s why one Boston-area startup is developing a different type of rechargeable battery that it says can cut costs in half—while avoiding some of the other flaws of current batteries, from the environmental impact of mining to the fact that lithium-ion batteries can catch on fire.

“Our motivation was to make it affordable, so that it could be widely deployed as opposed to niche,” says Mukesh Chatter, CEO and cofounder of the startup, Alsym Energy, which emerged from stealth today and has raised $32 million from investors, including Helios Climate Ventures. Right now, many automakers are following Tesla’s lead and making luxury EVs. But Alsym wants to enable manufacturers to make lower-cost vehicles, including its first partner, an automaker in India. Tackling climate change “requires everybody’s contribution,” Chatter says. “It cannot be 1% of the people buying expensive luxury EVs.” The batteries are also affordable enough that they could be used in developing countries to store off-grid solar power for people who don’t have electricity access now.

Continue reading “These rechargeable batteries are more sustainable and safer than lithium—and half the cost”

China says it may have detected signals

from alien civilisations

source: indianexpress.com  |  image:  pexels.com

China’s Sky Eye is extremely sensitive in the low-frequency radio band and plays a critical role in the search for alien civilisations.

 

China said its giant Sky Eye telescope may have picked up signs of alien civilizations, according to a report by the state-backed Science and Technology Daily, which then appeared to have deleted the report and posts about the discovery.

The narrow-band electromagnetic signals detected by Sky Eye — the world’s largest radio telescope — differ from previous ones captured and the team is further investigating them, the report said, citing Zhang Tonjie, chief scientist of an extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University, the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of California, Berkeley.

It isn’t clear why the report was apparently removed from the website of the Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China’s science and technology ministry, though the news had already started trending on social network Weibo and was picked up by other media outlets, including state-run ones.

In September 2020, Sky Eye, which is located in China’s southwestern Guizhou province and has a diameter of 500 meters (1,640 feet), officially launched a search for extraterrestrial life. The team detected two sets of suspicious signals in 2020 while processing data collected in 2019, and found another suspicious signal in 2022 from observation data of exoplanet targets, Zhang said, according to the report.

China’s Sky Eye is extremely sensitive in the low-frequency radio band and plays a critical role in the search for alien civilizations, Zhang is reported to have said.

The suspicious signals could, however, also be some kind of radio interference and requires further investigation, he added.

 

Scientists create graphyne, the next generation wonder material

source: indianexpress.com  |  image: pexels.com

This research fills a long-standing gap in carbon material science and opens up brand new possibilities for electronics, optics and semiconductor research.

 

For over a decade, scientists have been trying to synthesise a new form of carbon called graphyne with next to no success. But researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have finally succeeded in creating the elusive allotrope of carbon. This research fills a long-standing gap in carbon material science and opens up brand new possibilities for electronics, optics and semiconductor research.

The researchers have documented their process in a study titled, “Synthesis of γ-graphyne using dynamic covalent chemistry,” published in Nature Synthesis. The creation of different carbon allotropes (forms) has long interested scientists because of the element’s versatility and usefulness in various industries.

Carbon allotropes can be constructed in different ways depending on how hybrids of carbons and their corresponding bonds are utilised. The most well known such allotropes include graphite used in pencil and diamonds. They are created out of ‘sp2’ carbon and ‘sp3’ carbon respectively.

Scientists have used traditional methods to create various such allotropes over the years, including fullerene and graphene. Researchers working on these materials were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 and 2010 respectively.

But unfortunately, these methods do not allow for different types of carbon to be synthesised together in any kind of large capacity and this is required for creating graphyne. Due to this obstacle, graphyne remained a theoretical material speculated to have unique electrical, mechanical and optical properties.

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Self-driving cars could be potential crime witnesses

source: axios.com, contributed by FAN Bill Amshey  |  image:  pixabay.com

 

The police in San Francisco see camera-laden autonomous vehicles as potential witnesses in their criminal investigations, setting off alarm bells for privacy advocates, VICE reports.

Why it matters: As Axios has reported, self-driving cars capture and store huge databases of images so that they can train their algorithms and become better drivers. What that means is that bystanders are often captured in the footage, raising privacy concerns.

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A designer and a NASA scientist team up to fight a $244 billion problem that’s hiding in plain sight

source: fastcompany.com  |  image: pixabay.com

 

The debut project from Brooklyn-based Betterlab takes aim at a condition that affects a third of people worldwide.

 

earsightedness doesn’t sound that scary, but more and more people around the world are suffering from its clinical name: myopia. Because of myopia, China can’t find enough pilots, while the world is losing $244 billion in productivity a year, and that’s just the beginning: By 2050, more than half the world’s population is projected to have myopia—and as many as 10% of that group will go blind from the condition.

The problem was once primarily genetic, but new cases are increasingly attributed to kids getting too much screen time and too little sunlight for the eyes to develop properly. And while research has found that preventing myopia isn’t much more complicated than spending enough time outside, a new pair of glasses developed by designer Todd Bracher and a former NASA scientist aims to fix myopia without forcing anyone to change their behavior, take drugs, or wear special prismatic lenses. They were a finalist in our recent World Changing Ideas awards.

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Bill Gates predicts this technology will replace smartphones

 

source: marca.com/en/lifestyle/us-news  |  image: pixabay.com

 

The company Chaotic Moon is developing an innovative electronic tattoo

Software magnate, investor and philanthropist Bill Gates has become a kind of guru of the new realities that humanity is living and now the co-founder of Microsoft has predicted a new type of technology that, among other things, would replace smartphones.

It is not the first time that Gates dares to make predictions, as he showed when he spoke about a new pandemic that will attack humanity, now the author and lecturer has spoken of an electronic tattoo.

What technology will replace smartphones according to Bill Gates?

The billionaire businessman refers to the electronic tattoos developed by the company Chaotic Moon, a biotechnology-based technique that aims to analyze and collect information from the human body through it.

Among the data that this tattoo will store, there is initially talk of medical and sports information, with which it will be possible to prevent and control diseases, as well as improve physical and sports performance by means of vital signs.

How will the electronic tattoo be placed on people?

Although this electronic tattoo is still in the development phase, it is known that it will be applied temporarily on the skin, with small sensors and trackers that send and receive information through a special ink that conducts electricity.

Gates wants electronic tattoos to replace smartphones

However, the initial implementation of electronic tattoos is not enough for Bill Gates, who wants this futuristic device to become the replacement for today’s smartphones.

Gates’ idea, which has already been seen in several Hollywood movies, is that people can use the electronic tattoo developed by Chaotic Moon to call, send messages or look up an address.

Although it is not yet possible to speak of an approximate time for the electronic tattoo to be available, Gates and his team are looking for a way to use it to become the new device with which people carry out many of the things they do through smartphones.

 

A 140-Years-Old Battery Technology Might Change Everything We Know About Energy Storage

source: autoevolution.com  |  image: pixabay.com

Li-Ion batteries power everything today, from tiny gadgets to cars and even airplanes. But for all the benefits that Li-Ion batteries bring to the table, there are tons of problems. These range from the costly and difficult to source materials to safety problems and the damage they cause to the environment. Scientists think they found an alternative that could change everything we know about batteries.

The idea comes from a 140-year-old battery technology, known as the metal-air type. The first metal-air batteries were designed in 1878, using atmospheric oxygen as a cathode (electron receiver) and a metal anode (electron giver). The anode can be made out of cheap and abundantly-available metals such as aluminum, zinc, or iron.
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Could we engineer a vehicle with a nearly limitless power source?

source: interestingengineering.com  |  image: pixabay.com

 

Iron ore company Fortescue had a vision of such a vehicle.

Imagine a mass-transport vehicle with a nearly limitless power source. It would solve almost all transportation-related problems.

But what would it look like and how would it operate? 

First of all, it would need to have a sizeable cargo capacity. Second, it would need to be fast. Lastly, it would need to be highly efficient. That means it would need to be cheap to operate and maintain, otherwise, it would be an impractical option for most.

Iron ore company Fortescue had a vision of such a vehicle in order to significantly cut down the operational cost of their mining business. They imagined a self-charging battery-powered train.

They even came up with an ambitious name for this new vehicle: the Infinity Train. With this, they could ferry iron ore from their mines at a minimal cost.

This Infinity train would run on gravity batteries and Fortescue’s plan is to build railways from their mines to receiving areas below, where the ore can be shipped out to customers.

Can the firm’s vision come true? Will we see a future where infinity vehicles will exist? How will they be engineered and how will they be made to be safe? This video answers all these questions and more.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO AT INTERESTINGENGINEERING.COM

source: tpr.org  |  image:  pixabay.com  |  contributed by Artemus FAN Steve Jones

 

The BBC has resurrected an old school way of broadcasting in order to reach people in the crisis area of Ukraine: Shortwave radio. What is shortwave, and why has the BBC decided to begin using it again?

It’s almost a forgotten technology in the United States, except for some Americans of a certain age, or maybe their parents or grandparents or even great grandparents.

Shortwave was used extensively during World War II and the Cold War. For many years, shortwave broadcasts were spread around the world over Voice of America. Russia had Radio Moscow and other countries had their own shortwave broadcasts.

What exactly is shortwave radio?

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source: cleantechnica.com  |  images:  pixabay.com  |  contributed by Artemus FAN Steve Page

 

We all know — or think we know — that a solid-state battery is better than a battery with a liquid or semi-liquid electrolytes. A solid-state battery has a lower risk of thermal runaway (what ordinary people call fires). It also has a higher energy density, can charge and discharge more rapidly, performs better in cold temperatures, and lasts longer. So why isn’t everyone using them to power their battery electric vehicles?

The answer is, nobody knows how to manufacture them outside of the laboratory — yet — but scientists are getting closer all the time. According to MIT, one of the main stumbling blocks to making a solid-state battery is that instabilities in the boundary between the solid electrolyte layer and the two electrodes on either side can dramatically shorten its life. Adding special coatings to improve the bonding between the layers solves some of the problems but adds to the expense of manufacturing.

A team of researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory has come up with a way of achieving results that equal or surpass the durability of coated surfaces without the need for coatings. The key is to eliminate any trace of carbon dioxide during a critical step in the manufacturing process known as sintering.

Continue reading “New, New Solid-State Battery News From MIT”