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Category: Petroleum and Gas

Ocean acidification may reduce sea scallop fisheries — ScienceDaily

Each year, fishermen harvest more than $500 million worth of Atlantic sea scallops from the waters off the east coast of the United States. A new model created by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), however, predicts that those fisheries may potentially be in danger. As levels of carbon dioxide increase in the Earth’s atmosphere, the upper oceans become increasingly acidic — a condition that could reduce the sea scallop population by more than 50% in the next…

Real-word driving produces up to 16 times more emissions, causing 2,700 premature deaths across the EU — ScienceDaily

In September 2015, the German automaker Volkswagen was found to have illegally cheated federal emissions tests in the United States, by intentionally programming emissions control devices to turn on only during laboratory testing. The devices enabled more than 11 million passenger vehicles to meet U.S. emissions standards in the laboratory despite producing emissions up to 40 times higher than the legal limit in real-world driving conditions. Now a new MIT study reports that Volkswagen is not the only auto manufacturer…

Research papers explain the transfer of radium during hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas — ScienceDaily

Radioactivity in fracking wastewater comes from the interaction between a chemical slurry and ancient shale during the hydraulic fracturing process, according to Dartmouth College research. The study, detailed in twin papers appearing in Chemical Geology, is the first research that characterizes the phenomenon of radium transfer in the widely-used method to extract oil and gas. The findings add to what is already generally known about the mechanisms of radium release and could help the search for solutions to challenges in…

Study shows toxic effects of oil dispersant on oysters following deepwater horizon spill — ScienceDaily

Oysters likely suffered toxic effects from the oil dispersant Corexit® 9500 when it was used to clean up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, said Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Connecticut. The team determined this by comparing the low levels of toxicity of oil, the dispersant and a mixture of the two on Eastern oysters. The team published their findings in the journal Aquatic Toxicology. After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig spilled more than 170 million gallons…

How engineers are working to fill in the gaps

Credit: Shutterstock Potholes are a perennial problem. They are dangerous to road users, and the damage they cause to vehicles can be hugely expensive. The cost of repairing them is also vast. But still they appear, and reappear, in countless places. So why do these pesky crevices pose such a difficult challenge? And is there any light at the end of this pothole-filled tunnel? Potholes often begin as imperceptible microscopic cracks in the road surface. Bad weather, poor drainage and…

The super-fast screening technology could help to discover new treatments — ScienceDaily

If you’re looking into the mouth of a brown bear, one of the world’s top predators, your chances of survival probably aren’t good. But a team of Rutgers and other scientists has discovered a technology that rapidly assesses potentially lifesaving antibiotics by using bacteria in saliva from an East Siberian brown bear. The technology involves placing a bacterium from a wild animal’s mouth — or other complex source of microbes with potential antibiotic properties — in an oil droplet to…

Legacy of NASA’s Dawn, near the end of its mission — ScienceDaily

NASA’s Dawn mission is drawing to a close after 11 years of breaking new ground in planetary science, gathering breathtaking imagery, and performing unprecedented feats of spacecraft engineering. Dawn’s mission was extended several times, outperforming scientists’ expectations in its exploration of two planet-like bodies, Ceres and Vesta, that make up 45 percent of the mass of the main asteroid belt. Now the spacecraft is about to run out of a key fuel, hydrazine. When that happens, most likely between mid-September…

MakerLab becoming a hub of 3-D printed shell implants for injured pets

Credit: Northern Arizona University These days, you can 3-D print toys, full-size skeletons, Halloween masks, art projects, mechanical parts and building blocks. You can also print tortoise shells—or, as the MakerLab at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library did recently, implants for damaged tortoise shells to help a couple of local pets survive. Dr. Tereza DeMuth, a veterinarian at Canyon Pet Hospital, approached Cline Library staff with her dilemma—a 75-pound tortoise who’d survived a car accident but had two holes in…

The first low-cost sensor that can accurately measure skin friction drag

Surrey’s ‘artificial whisker’ sensor. Credit: University of Surrey Researchers at Surrey have developed the first low-cost sensor which can accurately measure skin friction drag, using off-the-shelf components. The sensor has primarily been designed for the aerospace sector since overcoming skin friction drag accounts for around 50 per cent of fuel burn on a commercial airliner in cruise conditions. Another potential application is in long pipelines where the power needed to pump substances through is entirely expended on overcoming friction. …

Serendipitous discovery may lead to eco-friendly lubricant — ScienceDaily

Seed oil components of an ornamental flower could provide a direct pathway for designing a new class of environmentally friendly lubricants. Researchers at the School of Science at IUPUI identified the compound in the seed oil that is produced in a manner unlike any other fatty acid. The study was published today online in the journal Nature Plants. The Orychophragmus violaceus plant is a purple flower native to China; it’s commonly referred to as the February orchid. While collaborating on…