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Category: Petroleum Engineering

Tiny fibers create unseen plastic pollution — ScienceDaily

While the polyester leisure suit was a 1970s mistake, polyester and other synthetic fibers like nylon are still around and are a major contributor to the microplastics load in the environment, according to a Penn State materials scientist, who suggests switching to biosynthetic fibers to solve this problem. “These materials, during production, processing and after use, break down into and release microfibers that can now be found in everything and everyone,” said Melik Demirel, Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Endowed…

Ship disasters avoided with big data statistics techniques

New statistical methods should make it possible to sound the alarm before faults on large ships happen, say Morten Stakkeland and Ingrid Glad. Credit: Yngve Vogt Companies can save millions by using advanced statistical methods to extract information from large amounts of collected data. One company that has adopted this new way of thinking is the international industrial group ABB. They work closely with statisticians at the University of Oslo in Norway to enable shipping companies to save millions on…

May explain why women more likely to stay mentally sharp in later years — ScienceDaily

Time wears differently on women’s and men’s brains. While the brain tends to shrink with age, men’s diminish faster than women’s. The brain’s metabolism slows as people grow older, and this, too, may differ between men and women. A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis finds that women’s brains appear to be about three years younger than men’s of the same chronological age, metabolically speaking. The findings, available online the week of Feb. 4 in…

Strategies for growing biomass for fuel can have economic, ecological and environmental benefits — ScienceDaily

In efforts to curb our use of greenhouse gas-generating fossil fuels, plant-based biofuels are among the top contenders as alternative liquid energy sources for transportation. However, strategies to produce high yields of biomass for fuels are not a one-size-fits-all proposition, according to a study led by UC Santa Barbara professor of ecology David Tilman. “It is difficult to make a biofuel that actually has environmental benefits,” said Tilman, a faculty member in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management,…

Predictive model for accurate electrical grid mapping

DIMITRY GERSHENSON    BRANDON ROHRER    ANNA LERNER When planning connectivity deployments in emerging markets, it’s important to have a clear picture of where existing power lines are placed. This information helps us make better decisions about where to focus our efforts, how we design the network, and how we source the equipment we’ll need. When we look for this information in developing countries, however, it is often outdated, inaccurate, or too low resolution to be useful. To find a…

Microbes screened with a new microfluidic process might be used in power generation or environmental cleanup — ScienceDaily

Living in extreme conditions requires creative adaptations. For certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments, this means finding a way to breathe that doesn’t involve oxygen. These hardy microbes, which can be found deep within mines, at the bottom of lakes, and even in the human gut, have evolved a unique form of breathing that involves excreting and pumping out electrons. In other words, these microbes can actually produce electricity. Scientists and engineers are exploring ways to harness…

Important Tips to Create A More Sustainable Facility

As a Chemical Engineering Student or Chemical Engineer, I believe that you are very much closely attached with your work place. This is actually your facility, plant etc. This is where you learn and practice Chemical Engineering. It’s quite challenging, if you are not sure how to play the game and what you are dealing with. Sometimes, wrong decision can be very costly. You don’t want bad thing happen to your facility. You definitely want the best for your facility,…

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth 40% — ScienceDaily

Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis; however, most crops on the planet are plagued by a photosynthetic glitch, and to deal with it, evolved an energy-expensive process called photorespiration that drastically suppresses their yield potential. Researchers from the University of Illinois and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service report in the journal Science that crops engineered with a photorespiratory shortcut are 40 percent more productive in real-world agronomic conditions. “We could feed up to 200 million additional people…

A new study shows what nine different world regions have contributed to climate change since 1900, and what will happen moving forward — ScienceDaily

The science is clear that human activities over the last century have contributed to greenhouse-like warming of the Earth’s surface. Much of the global conversation around climate change fixates on what individual countries or regions are contributing to the problem, and what they will do (or not do) to reverse the tide. But Colorado State University’s A.R. Ravishankara, University Distinguished Professor who holds joint appointments in the departments of chemistry and atmospheric science, says the full picture is longer and…

New material could be the answer to infrastructure woes

Credit: Louisiana State University In the early 1990s, Victor Li, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Michigan, developed Engineered Cementitious Composites, also known as ductile or bendable concrete. More than 20 years later, researchers at LSU are close to bringing this material to mass adoption, producing a cost-effective ECC that utilizes readily available ingredients. Furthermore, through testing to-date, it has proven far superior to traditional concrete and could greatly improve the transportation infrastructure in this…