“What exactly are single-use plastic and why are they so bad?”
Plastic is a very useful material. It’s flexible, fairly non-reactive, and strong, making it applicable for single-use grocery bags. However, the fact that Single-use Plastics are not recyclable and biodegradable means that they will end up in a land-fill and release toxic chemicals into the environment. To solve this crisis, a new generation of thinkers will have to come up with innovative policy and technical solutions. This could be anyone, from a regular Joe to someone whose name rhymes with Narina.
“How can we lower the freezing point of water?”
Water is known for its important freezing point. In fact, the entire metric temperature system is based off it! However, sometimes we may need to lower its freezing point. This can be accomplished through Antifreeze substances. Antifreeze is usually based off mixtures of water and either ethylene glycol (EGW) or propylene glycol (PGW). Antifreeze has plenty of applications, ranging from automotive engines to electronics cooling.
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Ducted Fume Hoods
“What is the most common type of fume hood?”
Fume hoods are a vital part of scientific labs. The most common type is usually a Ducted Fume Hood design where conditioned air is drawn from the lab space and siphoned into the outside atmosphere. The simplicity of the design has made it a staple of labs across the world.
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“How do scientists ensure that they are safe from chemical fumes in the lab?”
Biology and Chemistry often involve a lot of messy lab work involving chemicals, which may give off dangerous vapors. To prevent these from damaging the air quality in the lab and the health of the denizens, the fumes must be cycled away. This is commonly done through fume hoods, which sucks in air from a workbench and ventilates it to the atmosphere. Fume hoods are a vital part of the safety of every lab and have become a staple of the wet-bench research environment.
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“What are the ramifications of water contamination?”
Water is one of the most fundamental resources for human life. However, if there is any Water Contamination present, whether it be from runoff chemicals or an infectious bacteria, there could be dire ramifications. Humans can be harmed by unsafe chemicals in drinking water while mechanical processes can be harmed through corrosion.
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“What happens when water has a super-high concentration of salt?”
It is hard for humans to digest water with salt mixed in. So when water has an ultra-high concentration of salt, it takes on interesting properties. The salinity of this Brine can be used for food-processing, de-icing roads and structures, and as a refrigeration fluid. Brine is one of the myriads of chemicals that allows our modern world to work.
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Brine from Desalination
“Why is Brine created from desalination?”
Desalination is one of the lifelines for many water-poor countries, whether it be in the Middle-East, South Asia, or Western North America. However, during the process of creating more drinkable water, a portion of brine is also created as a byproduct. One of the most pressing challenges for policy-makers, scientists, and engineers is to find out what to do with this Brine from Desalination.
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