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Category: Petroleum Engineering

Lightening the load

When part consolidation is leveraged to bring down production costs, additive manufacturing becomes more cost competitive than traditional manufacturing methods. Credit: Pixabay The heavier an aircraft is, the more fuel it needs to stay in flight. Every single part adds to the total weight of the aircraft, from the wings to the engines to the bolts that hold everything together. The many parts that make up a vehicle are traditionally made using various machining processes in which raw materials are…

How electricity-eating microbes use electrons to fix carbon dioxide — ScienceDaily

New research from Washington University in St. Louis explains the cellular processes that allow a sun-loving microbe to “eat” electricity — transferring electrons to fix carbon dioxide to fuel its growth. Led by Arpita Bose, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, and Michael Guzman, a PhD candidate in her laboratory, a Washington University team showed how a naturally occurring strain of Rhodopseudomonas palustris takes up electrons from conductive substances like metal oxides or rust. The work is described…

Sensor can monitor wiring in a building or ship, and signal when repairs are needed — ScienceDaily

A new system devised by researchers at MIT can monitor the behavior of all electric devices within a building, ship, or factory, determining which ones are in use at any given time and whether any are showing signs of an imminent failure. When tested on a Coast Guard cutter, the system pinpointed a motor with burnt-out wiring that could have led to a serious onboard fire. The new sensor, whose readings can be monitored on an easy-to-use graphic display called…

Everolimus, carboplatin together slow low-grade glioma tumor growth, reduce tumor size — ScienceDaily

A new combination treatment aimed at resistant and recurrent low-grade gliomas slowed tumor growth and killed tumor cells in laboratory and mouse models. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine combined carboplatin, a standard chemotherapy drug that works well against these brain tumors, and everolimus, which blocks an enzyme called mTOR that was shown in earlier research to fuel the growth of these tumors. The combination increased DNA damage and cell…

When it comes to monarchs, fall migration matters — ScienceDaily

Scientists studying monarch butterflies have traditionally focused on two sources for their decline — winter habitat loss in Mexico and fewer milkweed plants in the Midwest. New research conducted by Michigan State University and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, however, shows that a critical piece of the butterfly’s annual cycle was missing — the fall migration. By focusing on this southerly trek, as well as changing the scale at which winter populations are examined, scientists reveal…

Testing space batteries for cleaner skies

This test overcharge of a lithium-ion battery cell at CEA test facilites in France resulted in an explosion. Credit: ESA/Airbus Engineers descended into bunkers to test space batteries to destruction – through overheating, overcharging, short circuits and even by shooting them with bullets. The three-year test campaign is helping assess the risk of abandoned satellites exploding in orbit due to catastrophic battery reactions. Extreme ‘abuse’ testing of the current generation of lithium-ion batteries for space took place in the test…

Moon’s dayside water molecules migrate over the course of a day — ScienceDaily

Using the Southwest Research Institute-led Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), scientists have observed water molecules moving around the dayside of the Moon. A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters describes how LAMP measurements of the sparse layer of molecules temporarily stuck to the surface helped characterize lunar hydration changes over the course of a day. Up until the last decade or so, scientists thought the Moon was arid, with any water existing mainly as…

‘Upcycling’ plastic bottles could give them a more useful second life — ScienceDaily

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a recycling process that transforms single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and carpet made from the common polyester material polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into more valuable products with a longer lifespan. Their research, published February 27 in the journal Joule, could help protect oceans from plastic waste by jumpstarting the recycled plastics market. PET is strong but lightweight, resistant to water, and shatterproof — properties that make it extremely…

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…