Grant opportunity in Cancun

Gates Foundation logo

The goal: to enable universal access to sustainable sanitation services by supporting the development of radically new sanitation technologies as well as markets for new sanitation products and services.

ECS is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to host a multi-day workshop at the 2014 International Electrochemical Energy Summit (E2S) which takes place during the ECS and SMEQ Joint International meeting in Cancun, Mexico being held Oct. 5-9, 2014. The workshop will culminate in the distribution of over $200,000 in seed funding from ECS, addressing critical technology gaps in water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges being faced around the world.

40% of the world’s population–2.5 billion people–practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities, and the consequences can be devastating for human health as well as the environment.

Disseminating information
ECS hopes to improve access to clean water and sanitation in developing countries by leveraging the brainpower of the many scientists in electrochemistry and solid state science and technology attending the 2014 ECS and Sociedad Mexicana de Electroquímica Joint International Meeting.

Priority topic areas will include interfaces, disinfection, energy generation, energy storage, chemical conversion, monitoring and measurement, and dewatering technologies, among others, including a “wild card” topic area to be decided by participants.

“ECS is excited to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help address the urgent water and sanitation challenges the world is facing,” says ECS president Paul Kohl. “This partnership provides a unique opportunity for researchers to generate potential solutions and then almost immediately start testing them.”

How it works
The workshop will kick-off with remarks from current awardees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participants will be guided through facilitated brainstorming and working group sessions. Attendees will work in full group and breakout sessions to address complex scientific issues, gaps, and needs. They will be encouraged to create partnerships and surface new approaches to existing challenges within the WASH portfolio.

To submit your name for the potential opportunity to participate in the brainstorming session, please click here.

NOTE: Attendance at the facilitated brainstorming session is not a prerequisite for submitting a funding proposal. The summary of the facilitated brainstorming session will be distributed via email to all meeting attendees.

Grant money available
At least two grants will be distributed on the last day of the meeting from the more than $200,000 available, each in the range of $25,000-$100,000. Participants are expected to develop potential partnerships and collaborative proposals, then make an oral presentation. An independent review committee will review the proposals and make award recommendations by Friday, Oct. 10, 2014.

Grantees will also be invited to present in technical symposia at future ECS meetings. The International Electrochemical Energy Summit was instituted in Oct. 2011 to bring together scientists, policy makers, government officials, and industry leaders to learn about global energy issues and research in electrochemical energy that can address societal energy needs. There are many important technical talks to attend throughout the week, including the Energy-Water Nexus symposia, which begins at 1400 on Monday.

Learn more…
Read about E2S 2014
Submit your name for the potential opportunity to participate in the brainstorming session

Join us in Cancun
Register now for the 2014 ECS and SMEQ Joint International Meeting in Cancun

Posted in Electrochemistry, Energy, Meetings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Harnessing Renewable Energy where the River Meets the Sea

Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO)

Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) is a method of producing renewable energy from two streams of a different salinity.
Credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

“When the River Meets the Sea” may very well be a John Denver song circa 1979, but it is also an intersection with the potential to generate a significant amount of power. According to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT, when river water collides with sea water, there exists the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy.

This from Phys.org:

The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane. Through osmosis, water from the less-salty stream would cross the membrane to a pre-pressurized saltier side, creating a flow that can be sent through a turbine to recover power.

Read the full article here.

According to calculations by Leonardo Banchik, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, a PRO system could potentially power a coastal wastewater-treatment plant by taking in seawater and combining it with treated wastewater to produce renewable energy.

Although more research needs to be done to see in what applications the PRO system is economically viable, Banchik sees the huge potential of this method.

“Say we’re in a place that could really use desalinated water, like California, which is going through a terrible drought,” Banchik says. “They’re building a desalination plant that would sit right at the sea, which would take in seawater and give Californians water to drink. It would also produce a saltier brine, which you could mix with wastewater to produce power.”

Learn more about new devlopments in osmosis via ECS’s Digital Library.

Posted in Education, Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Science?

Google scholar logo

“Google Science” would launch a number of journals, be “self-organising” and yet have a team of “qualified reviewers.”

There is a Google Scholar, but what if there was a Google Science? The UK edition of Wired magazine is tracking the mystery of whether it is or is not in the mix in How ‘Google Science’ could transform academic publishing.

“Google Science” would launch a number of journals, be “self-organising” and yet have a team of “qualified reviewers”.

“99.9 percent of the work, including peer review would be done by the scientific community,”

This is, of course, about open access an issue we at ECS are committed to. There’s a great discussion on this. The article says:

“Most [academics] don’t particularly care about open access, in part because they are not incentivised to do so. This is changing, but only slowly, and right now most still care more about publishing in established, high-profile journals and in gaining a lot of citations.”

Google could change the game, if they really were going to get involved. Spoiler alert: Wired found no evidence a Google Science was in the works.

Find out more about ECS open access.

Posted in Open Access, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Solar Energy Without Blocking the View

Solar Concentrator

The solar harvesting system uses small organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight.
Credit: Yimu Zhao

A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that can harvest energy when placed over a window without blocking the view.

The new development is called the transparent luminescent solar concentrator and it has the potential to be used on buildings, cell phones, and any other device that has a flat, clear surface.

This from Science Daily:

Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials is not new. These past efforts, however, have yielded poor results – the energy production was inefficient and the materials were highly colored.

Read the full article here.

The transparent luminescent solar concentrator is still in the beginning of its development – yielding a solar conversion efficiency just close to one percent. However, Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering believes the concentrator will reach efficiencies beyond five percent when fully optimized.

“It opens a lot of area to deploy solar energy in a non-intrusive way,” Lunt said. “It can be used on tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader. Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there.”

ECS will have a symposium at the upcoming meeting in Cancun dealing with solar fuels and the utilization of solar energy. Find out more about the meeting and sign-up for early bird registration today!

Posted in Education, Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Economical Electrochemical Sensor Detects Diseases

Electrochemical Detector

The device vibrates the test strip to mix the sample and reagent runs an electric current through it, and spits out the results on the screen.
Credit: Stephanie Mitchell

The researchers at Harvard University have devised a new portable device that has the ability to perform an abundance of medical tests – all thanks to electrochemistry.

“By applying a small amount of electricity to a drop of blood mixed with a reagent, the device can gauge glucose levels. The same goes for heavy metals in water, malaria antigens in blood, and sodium in urine,” researchers explained.

The beauty of the device lies in its simplicity and affordability. The total manufacturing costs comes in at $25, making it accessible to many. It also has an audio-out port, which allows users to transmit their readings via a cellphone to an online server.

Continue reading

Posted in Education, Electrochemistry | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Creating Solar Panels Out of Old Car Batteries

Lead-acid car batteries

According to engineers at MIT, we can recycle them to make long-lasting, low-cost solar panels. Credit: Christine Daniloff

The old lead-acid battery in your car may not be as useless or environmentally dangerous as was once thought. In fact, these batteries may be the answer to creating a cheap source of green energy.

According to engineers at MIT, old lead-acid batteries can be recycled and easily converted into long-lasting, low-cost solar panels. So far, the solar cells in the panels have yielded promising results – achieving over 19 percent efficiency in converting sunlight to useable electricity.

Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Education, Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sponsorship & Exhibits at the 2014 ECS & SMEQ Joint International Meeting

Although the sponsorship and exhibit deadlines have officially passed, we might be able to work with you for the Cancun meeting in October. There are still 5 exhibit spaces left; join this list today!

 GamryThe electrochemical society-Boots

We can also still accept symposia sponsorships, which support the participation of scientists from around the world.

If you would like to discuss your options to participate, please email Dan Fatton, or call him at 609.737.1902 ext. 115. For some ideas on additional possibilities, please peruse the brochure.

Ivium Exhibit Biologic Exhibit

Find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with ECS.

Posted in Electrochemistry, Meetings, Sponsors | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Turning Cigarette Butts Into Electrical Storage

Cigarette Butts

A group of South Korean researchers at the Environmental Material & Process Lab at Seoul National University have found a way to transform cigarette butts from harmful waste to a boon for green energy initiatives.

We all know the health risks that cigarette smoking can lead to, but with over one billion smokers internationally – according to the researchers at the World Health Organization (WHO) – smoking cigarettes has also become an environmental issue. However, a group of scientists in South Korea have discovered a way to transform this waste into a positive by converting the cigarette butts into green energy in a one-step process.

This from Smithsonian:

In a recent paper in the journal Nanotechnology, the researchers demonstrated a one-step process for turning used cigarette filters (the main component of butts) into a material that can be used to store energy in supercapacitors—components that can be used alongside batteries in the electrical grid, consumer electronics and electric vehicles.

Read the full article here.

While it is unlikely that the supercapacitors will match the storage abilities of chemical-based batteries any time soon, the scientists are optimistic about the potential of this process. With trillions of cigarette butts being tossed out each year, there is no shortage of materials to build billions of supercapacitors.

Find out more about the evolving science of supercapacitors in ECS’s Digital Library.

Posted in Education, Electrochemistry, Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

$1 Million Dollar Challenge Presented by New Age Doctor

Deepak Chopra

Chopra wants to know how one can physically detect the content of a thought. If you know, you could win $1 million. Source: YouTube

Want to win $1 million? Well now you can – as long as you can give a valid scientific explanation for the biological basis of a first-person experience, that is.

Deepak Chopra has posted a video on YouTube asking viewers to offer a scientific understanding for the biological basis of an idea.

This from Chopra:

Just tell me how does electrochemistry produce a thought, an idea, and you get the million dollars. I will live up to this. But it has to be a valid, scientific explanation for the biological basis of an idea.

Watch the video below.

Before taking your shot at winning $1 million, read up on some of the latest research in electrochemical by the best scientists in the field.

Posted in Distractions, Electrochemistry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Call for Papers: Printing technologies

Printable functional materials and devices

This focus issue will cover state-of-the-art efforts that address a variety of approaches to printable functional materials and devices.

Printing technologies in an atmospheric environment offer the potential for low-cost and materials-efficient alternatives for manufacturing electronics and energy devices such as luminescent displays, thin film transistors, sensors, thin film photovoltaics, fuel cells, capacitors, and batteries.

Significant progress has been made in the area of printable functional organic and inorganic materials including conductors, semiconductors, dielectric, and luminescent materials

These will enable exciting advances in printed electronics and energy devices. Some examples are printed amorphous oxide semiconductors, organic conductors and semiconductors, inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials, silicon, chalcogenide semiconductors, ceramics, metals, intercalation compounds, and carbon-based materials.

This focus issue will cover state-of-the-art efforts that address a variety of approaches to printable functional materials and device. The focus issue will include both invited and contributed papers reflecting recent achievements. Prospective authors are encouraged to submit contributions reporting the original research results or reviewing key emerging trends in printable functional materials and devices for publication in this focus issue.

Find out more.

Posted in Call for Papers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment