How Carbonation Works - Science Behind Bubbles in Drinks
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Here are 10 recent discoveries:
1. How Carbonation Works: Science Behind Bubbles in Drinks
Carbonation involves dissolving colorless and odorless carbon dioxide gas into liquid, creating pressure.
Dissolved carbon dioxide forms carbonic acid (H2CO3), making drinks slightly sour.
Cold temperatures keep more carbon dioxide in drinks, making them bubblier when opened.
Surface tension affects bubble formation and artificial sweeteners lower surface tension, creating more fizz.
Joseph Priestley invented carbonation in the 1760s. Today most drinks are carbonated by injecting carbon dioxide.
Fermentation is another method, where yeast produces carbon dioxide, used in champagne and beer.
Large brewers control carbonation by capturing carbon dioxide during fermentation for consistency.
Carbonation blends physics and chemistry to turn liquids into bubbly treats.
So appreciate the science behind carbonation next time you enjoy a fizzy drink!
2. Eco-Friendly Thermoplastic Polyurethane with 97% Biocarbon Content Developed
Senior Researcher Lim Sang-gyu and team at DGIST create eco-friendly thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
Collaboration with Korea Textile Development Institute (KTDI) yields a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based materials.
Thermoplastic polyurethane known for its mechanical properties is used in various applications.
Current TPU production relies on petroleum-based materials, causing environmental issues.
Lim's team used biomass-based polyester polyols and butane diols for their eco-friendly TPU.
Resulting material has 97% biocarbon content, comparable properties to petroleum-based TPU.
Applications include industrial sheets, screen protection films, cases, footwear, artificial leather, and clothing.
There are hopes for commercialization in high-functional fiber materials and various industries.
3. Cheaper Chromium Replaces Rare Noble Metals in Luminescent Materials and Catalysts
University of Basel chemists develop chromium compounds to replace costly osmium and ruthenium.
Chromium-based materials show similar luminescent properties to noble metals.
Chromium is 20,000 times more abundant in the Earth's crust, making it cost-effective.
These materials can serve as efficient catalysts for light-triggered photochemical reactions.
Chromium's reactivity when exposed to light opens possibilities in pharmaceutical ingredient production.
Further research aims to scale up materials and enhance light emission and catalytic properties.
The goal is to utilize sunlight for chemical energy storage, akin to photosynthesis.
4. Seawater-Chloride Empowered Redox Chemistry for Sustainable Batteries
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) explore using chloride ions from seawater in batteries.
Current lithium-ion batteries are expensive and rely on critical materials with limited geographical availability.
WPI researchers leverage chloride ions to enhance redox chemistry in iron oxide batteries.
Chloride ion insertion into Fe(OH)2 creates a Green Rust intermediate, improving cycling stability.
The reported rechargeable alkaline iron battery helps repurpose scrap iron waste materials for sustainable and cost-effective energy storage solutions.
5. LionGlass: Strong, Eco-Friendly Glass with 50% Less Carbon Emissions
Researchers at Penn State develop LionGlass, an eco-friendly glass that could reduce carbon emissions by 50% in glass manufacturing.
LionGlass requires less energy for production and has higher resistance to damage compared to conventional soda lime silicate glass.
The melting temperature of LionGlass is lower, leading to a 30% reduction in energy consumption.
This glass is not only environmentally friendly but also significantly stronger, with crack resistance at least 10 times that of standard glass.
Reduced weight potential in LionGlass products due to increased strength can further benefit the environment.
Researchers are exploring various compositions and applications for LionGlass and have filed a patent application for the family of glass.
LionGlass could play a vital role in addressing global challenges like environmental issues, renewable energy, and more.
6. Breakthrough Catalyst Enhances Hydrogen Production from Water Electrolysis
Researchers develop a novel iridium nanostructure catalyst supported by tantalum oxide for efficient proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE).
Traditional PEMWEs are hindered by slow oxygen evolution reaction (OER) rates and costly metal oxide catalysts like iridium.
The new catalyst design improves iridium utilization, electrical conductivity, and electrochemically active surface area.
Strong metal-support interaction and charge transfer between iridium and tantalum enhance OER activity.
The catalyst shows significantly higher OER efficiency and stability, making it a promising advancement for hydrogen production.
This technology could revolutionize commercial PEMWEs, making hydrogen production more cost-effective and efficient.
7. New Technology Aims to Suck CO2 Directly from the Ocean
Equatic and Captura are developing technologies to remove CO2 from ocean water, a more efficient method compared to air capture.
The ocean acts as a natural carbon absorber, making direct ocean capture (DOC) more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
DOC processes involve electrodialysis, reactive flow systems, and electrochemical reactions to remove CO2 from seawater.
Companies and researchers are working on scaling up these technologies for carbon removal.
Environmental organizations caution the need for responsible deployment to avoid unintended consequences on ocean ecosystems.
Researchers emphasize that their DOC technologies do not harm marine life and are actively monitoring environmental impacts during pilot tests.
8. Plants' Tannins Used to Develop Microplastic-Trapping Water Filter
Scientists at UBC's BioProducts Institute have created a water filter that uses tannins, natural plant compounds, to trap microplastic particles.
This eco-friendly filter has the potential to scale up for municipal treatment systems and could reduce microplastic pollution.
The filter successfully captured 95.2% to 99.9% of plastic particles in water, depending on the type of plastic.
Microplastics, found in various consumer products, pose a growing threat to aquatic ecosystems and human health.
The solution utilizes renewable and biodegradable materials, making it environmentally friendly.
Researchers believe this method can be easily scaled up and commercialized with the right industry partner.
The filter is based on the interaction of tannic acids with microplastics, allowing it to capture a wide variety of plastic types.
This innovative approach addresses the challenge of microplastic pollution in water supplies.
9. Researchers Create Non-Stick Materials with Liquid-Like Coatings
University of Sydney scientists have developed thin coatings of oil molecules that behave like liquids on solid surfaces.
These coatings, known as slippery covalently-attached liquid surfaces (SCALS), offer non-stick properties without relying on harmful perfluorinated polymers (PFAS).
SCALS are eco-friendly as they break down into harmless byproducts in the environment.
These nano-thin layers prevent adhesion of contaminants, resist ice and bacterial buildup, and enhance heat transfer efficiency.
The researchers used single-molecule force spectroscopy and neutron reflectometry to study the behavior of these ultra-thin liquid coatings.
The optimal performance of SCALS is achieved when the oil molecules are neither too short nor too long and are grafted with moderate density.
These coatings hold promise for designing sustainable materials with various applications.
10. Microplastics Found in Remote Marine Atmosphere, Study Reveals Sources
Researchers discovered microplastic particles in the marine atmosphere, even in remote areas like the Arctic.
These tiny particles originate from land sources but can also be released into the atmosphere from the ocean.
Air samples collected from the Norwegian coast to the Arctic revealed the presence of various plastic types, including polyester and polyethylene terephthalate.
Tire wear particles were identified as a major source of microplastics, with concentrations of up to 37.5 nanograms per cubic meter of air.
The study suggests that microplastics enter the atmosphere from both land and sea sources, including sea spray and bursting air bubbles during storms.
Ships, particularly their paints and coatings, contribute to airborne microplastics.
This research sheds light on the presence and sources of microplastics in the marine atmosphere, emphasizing their ubiquity even in remote polar regions.
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