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Category: Chemical Engineering

Why does concrete swell and crack?

Concrete structures that have been damaged by AAR (alkali-aggregate reaction) exhibit these typical cracks. The dark color around the edges of the cracks is caused by leaking AAR products. Credit: Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology Unfortunately, concrete does not last forever. The ravages of time also take their toll on concrete structures in Switzerland. Not only are reinforced structures like bridges affected, but also concrete buildings without any reinforcement, such as dam walls. One cause is referred…

Smart mud to smooth the way for drilling wells

A model developed by KAUST researchers provides insights into how drilling muds behave within wells and could help the oil industry avoid clogged wells. Credit: Qi Liu & Carlos Santamarina A model that simulates how drilling fluids, or muds, behave and influence the stability of oil wells has been developed by KAUST researchers. Their findings could inform new safety protocols and the design of novel drilling muds. To ensure oil wells are safe and economically viable, it is vital to…

Treating them equally is a problem and could lead to misguided research and policy — ScienceDaily

“Cigarette” might appear in the term “e-cigarette” but that is as far as their similarities extend, reports a new Northwestern Medicine report published Friday, Sept. 28, in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Assuming e-cigarettes are equal to cigarettes could lead to misguided research and policy initiatives, the paper says. “Comparing cigarettes to e-cigarettes can give us a false sense of what dangers exist because it misses the gap in understanding how people use them and how they can make…

Scientists investigate how DEET confuses countless critters — ScienceDaily

DEET, thought to be the most effective insect repellent available, may not be an insect repellent at all. It’s not that DEET doesn’t keep away critters — it verifiably does. However, Leslie B. Vosshall, Rockefeller’s Robin Chemers Neustein Professor, has shown that DEET acts not by repelling bugs, but rather by confusing them, messing with neurons that help the animals smell their surroundings. Moreover, the effects of DEET are not limited to insects: spiders, ticks, and many other pests also…

Super cheap earth element to advance new battery tech to the industry — ScienceDaily

Most of today’s batteries are made up of rare lithium mined from the mountains of South America. If the world depletes this source, then battery production could stagnate. Sodium is a very cheap and earth-abundant alternative to using lithium-ion batteries that is also known to turn purple and combust if exposed to water — even just water in the air. Worldwide efforts to make sodium-ion batteries just as functional as lithium-ion batteries have long since controlled sodium’s tendency to explode,…

Transparent loudspeakers and mics that let your skin play music

Ultrathin, conductive, and transparent hybrid NMs can be applied to the fabrication of skin-attachable NM loudspeakers and voice-recognition microphones, which would be unobtrusive in appearance due to their excellent transparency and conformal contact capability. Credit: UNIST An international team of researchers affiliated with UNIST has presented an innovative wearable technology that turns the user’s skin into a loudspeaker. This breakthrough was led by Professor Hyunhyub Ko in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST. Created in part to…

New hurdle for developing immunotherapies — ScienceDaily

The body’s immune system is a valiant weapon against disease, and harnessing its power through a technique called immunotherapy is at the forefront of current research to treat cancer and other diseases. That’s why an unexpected finding by University of Notre Dame researchers and their collaborators, related to the way two distinctively different peptide antigens react with one T-cell receptor (TCR), tosses a new wrench into the process of building better molecules to develop immunotherapies. The surprising research showing peptide…

MU to offer online Biological Engineering master’s degree

The upcoming Biological Engineering online master’s degree program will be a full, semester-based, non-thesis degree program, which will allow distance and lifelong learners to receive either additional credentials or a full master’s degree. The MU College of Engineering is rolling out a brand new, fully online, master’s degree program in Biological Engineering, with courses starting in the Fall 2019 term. The program will be a full, semester-based, non-thesis degree program, which will allow distance and lifelong learners to receive either…

Startup creates printer that makes customized medicines for pets

Arun Giridhar is one of the co-founders of Pinpoint Pharma, a precision compounding pharmacy for veterinarians. Pinpoint Pharma has created a printer that is faster than traditional methods of making customized medicine that is tailored to each individual animal’s needs. Credit: Purdue Research Foundation image/Oren Darling A startup is using Purdue University-patented technology to produce precise, customized medicine for pets. Pinpoint Pharma has created a printer that is faster than traditional methods of making customized medicine. The company is among…

Warmer wetsuit will increase Navy dive time

From left, graduate student Anton Cottrill, Dr. Jacopo Buongiorno and Dr. Michael Strano try out their neoprene wetsuits at a pool at MIT’s athletic center. Cottrill is holding the pressure tank used to treat the wetsuits with heavy inert gasses. To protect Navy divers in freezing conditions, the Office of Naval Research is sponsoring work to design a wetsuit mirroring the insulating properties of animal blubber. Credit: Susan Young Diving in icy water is extremely dangerous to humans. Within seconds,…