Replace An AA Battery With Paper

Paper is an ubiquitous part of society; so much so that the incredible engineering behind it often goes unnoticed. That isn’t the case for [Robert], though, who has a deep appreciation for the material and all its many uses far beyond recording information. In this particular video, he recreates a method found by researchers to turn a piece of paper into a battery with equivalent performance to a AA-sized alkaline battery. (Video, embedded below the break.)

The process involves the creation of a few different types of ink, each of which can be made with relatively common materials such as shellac, ethanol, polyethylene glycol, and graphite. Each of these materials are mixed in different proportions to create the inks. Once the cathode ink and anode ink are made, a third ink is needed called a current collector ink which functions essentially as a wire. The paper is dipped into a salt solution and then allowed to dry, given a partial waterproof coating, and when it is needed it can be activated by wetting it which allows the ion flow of the battery to happen.

The chemistry of this battery makes a lot of sense once you see it in action, and the battery production method also has a perk of having a long shelf life as long as the batteries stay dry. They also don’t damage the environment as much as non-rechargable alkaline cells do, at least unless you want to go to some extreme measures to reuse them.

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Reduced Sulfur Emissions Could Cause Climate Shock

When we talk about emissions these days, we typically talk about cutting them back for the good of the environment. However, the climate system is a complex beast, and one we’re still learning to understand.

As it turns out, cutting back on emissions may have unexpected or undesirable effects. Some scientists are concerned that cuts to human-induced sulfur emissions may actually be warming the Earth.

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Sea Level Rise From Melting Ice Sheets Could Soon Be Locked In

Where today we talk broadly of climate change and it’s various effects, the conversation was once simpler. We called it “global warming” and fretted about cooking outside in the summer and the sea level rise that would claim so many of our favorite cities.

Scientists are now concerned that sea level rises could be locked in, as ice sheets and glaciers pass “tipping points” beyond which their loss cannot be stopped. Research is ongoing to determine how best we can avoid these points of no return.

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Healing Wounds With The Power Of Electricity

Once upon a time, even a simple cut or scrape could be a death sentence. Before germ theory and today’s scientific understanding of medicine, infections ran rampant and took many lives.

While we’re now well-armed with disinfectants, dressings, and antibiotics, scientists are continuing to investigate new and unique methods to improve the treatment of wounds. As it turns out, a little electricity might actually help wounds heal faster.

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2022 Sci-Fi Contest: Multi-Sensor Measurement System

Many sci-fi movies and TV shows feature hand-held devices capable of sensing all manner of wonderful things. The µ Spec Mk II from [j] is built very much in that vein, packing plenty of functionality into a handy palm-sized form factor. 

An ESP32 serves as the brains of the device, hooked up to a 480×320 resolution touchscreen display. On board is a thermal camera, with 32×24 pixel resolution from an MLX90640 sensor. There’s also a 8×8 LIDAR sensor, too, and a spectral sensor that can capture all manner of interesting information about incoming light sources. This can also be used to determine the transmission coefficient or reflection coefficient of materials, if that’s something you desire. A MEMS microphone is also onboard for capturing auditory data. As a bonus, it can draw a Mandelbrot set too, just for the fun of it.

Future plans involve adding an SD card so that data captured can be stored in CSV format, as well as expanding the sensor package onboard. It’s a project that reminds us of some of the tricorder builds we’ve seen over the years. Video after the break.

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Modern Wildfires And Their Effect On The Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is a precious thing, helping protect the Earth from the harshest of the sun’s radiative output. If anything were to damage this layer, we’d all feel the results in a very short order indeed.

In the past, humanity has worked to limit damage to the ozone layer from our own intentional actions. However, it’s not just aerosol cans and damaged air conditioning systems that are putting it at risk these days. The fierce wildfires we’ve seen so much of in recent years are also having a negative effect. Let’s take a look at why the ozone layer matters, and how it’s being affected by these wildfires.

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Scientists Are Now Declaring New Species Via Photos And Video

Identifying new species is key to the work of zoologists around the world. It’s an exciting part of research into the natural world, and being the first to discover a new species often grants a scientists naming rights that can create a legacy of one’s work that lasts long into the future.

Traditionally, the work of taxonomy involved capturing and preserving an example of the new species. This is such that it could be classified properly and studied in detail by scientists working now and in the future. However, times are changing, and scientists are beginning to identify new species on the basis of videos and photos instead.

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