The Works of Marie M. Daly
“Why is the work of Marie M. Daly (the first Black American Woman to receive a Ph.D. in Chemistry in the United States) so important?”
During her lifetime, Marie M. Daly was a prolific scientist. Trained as a Biochemist from Columbia University, she sought to understand the fundamental workings of the human body. During her career, she uncovered many of its secrets such as methods for the fractionalization of nuclear material to separate the essentials of a cell into its various components, The role of ribonucleoprotein in protein synthesis (which was later used in Watson and Crick’s discoveries of DNA structure), as well as work on cholesterol, hypertension, and creatine. In short, The Works of Marie M. Daly are paramount to our collective understanding of human biochemistry.
Image credit Balis, M. E., Samarth, K. D., Hamilton, M. G., & Petermann, M. L. (1958). Role of the ribonucleoprotein particle in protein synthesis and the effects of growth hormone. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 233(5), 1152-1155.
Why Hydrogen Fuel Cells Work for Heavy Trucking
“Why might hydrogen fuels cells be the future of heavy trucking?”
In order to decarbonize heavy trucking freight transport, the replacement system needs to have high energy density and low weight so it doesn’t bog down the cars on their long rides. This way Hydrogen Fuel Cells would be perfect due to satisfying both of these. This is Why Hydrogen Fuel Cells Work for Heavy Trucking.
Recycling Rare Earth Minerals
“How can we reuse rare earth minerals?”
Rare Earth Minerals are vital for the operation of distributed energy technologies. But their extraction process is extremely pollutive and their supply is limited. But what if were to simply reuse them from old products? This way, we can increase the availability of their supply and help create a circular economy. As a result Recycling Rare Earth Minerals can be of great use to the world.
Image credit https://climate.nasa.gov
“What is the second most common mineral in the world and why is it special?”
Minerals can be found all over the world. But the second most common one Quartz (SiO2) has some very special characteristics. Particularly, its crystalline arrangement exhibits piezoelectric properties, allowing for stress-induced electricity!
Image credit http://www.wikigempedia.com
“What is Clay?”
Many children around the world play with clay when they are young. But what exactly are they? Well, when natural rock or soil material is highly grounded, it can combine with a large amount of other elements overtime to make Clay. Clay’s flexibility and strength when hardened have made it useful in building materials and early writing utensils.
How ‘Invisible Wires’ Could Improve Solar Cell Efficiency
“How can we solve the silicon wire reflectivity problem in solar cells?”
We know that PV modules have a transmission wire reflectivity problem. But some research coming out of Stanford University could change this entirely. Instead of relying upon wires to channel electrons away from the silicon semiconductors, what if we were to use gold sheets with holes in them, and tiny silicon towers on top to redirect sunlight away from the gold sheet and into the holes? This way the maximum amount of sunlight can be absorbed and reflectivity can be minimized. This is just a small example of How ‘Invisible Wires’ Could Improve Solar Cell Efficiency.
Image Credit https://news.stanford.edu
Phase Changing Materials for Solar Panels
“How can we use phase-changing materials to cool down solar panels?”
Solar PV is the fastest growing energy system in the world. But that doesn’t mean that it’s without its problems. When they become too hot, they become very inefficient and reject a lot of heat into nearby structures. One way to counter this is to attach a layer of Phase Changing Materials at the back of the panel. The phase-changing material is a material at its critical value so it can absorb a voluminous amount of latent heat without changing its temperature. Not only does it act as a passive heatsink but it can store this thermal energy to be used in other applications such as heating water. Phase changing materials are usually attached in a capsule behind the PV panel and have an air gap behind them to ensure cooling. This is a great example of Phase Changing Materials for Solar Panels.