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.

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.

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.

What’s Graphene?

Kostya Novoselov

Published over 60 peer-refereed research papers (mainly as the principal/corresponding author) including Nature and Science articles and more than 15 papers in Nature Materials, Nature Physics, Nature Nanotechnology, Reviews of Modern Physics, Physical Review Letters, PNAS.

We’ve been having lots of talks around the home office about how people don’t realize the impact of electrochemistry and solid state science have on their world.

Being new here, I’m still playing catch up with the science. I ask a lot of questions. My colleagues patiently try to do what Miss Lemke could never accomplish in 11th grade chemistry.

Here’s one result that can benefit me and the rest of our less aware readers of this blog. I got this video link explaining graphene from John Lewis, our Associate Director of Publications. The video is from The One Show, BBC1 last year.

(more…)

Tattoo That Harvests Energy from Persperation

Biobattery Tattoo

The biobattery tattoo that can create power through perspiration. Credit: Joseph Wang

Power through perspiration. That is the idea behind the new temporary tattoo that can store and generate electrical energy from your own sweat.

This new method was announced at the American Chemical Society meeting by Dr. Wenzhao Jia of the University of California, San Diego.

According to Jia’s explanation of the device in the journal Angewante Chemie, the temporary tattoo essentially acts as a sensor that measures the body’s lactate levels, which are the chemicals naturally present in sweat. From there, an enzyme in the sensor strips electrons from, which generates an electrical current. The current is then stored in a battery that is also built into the sensor.

(more…)

Using Hemp to Store Energy

“People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not?”

That is what Dr. David Mitlin said about the new discovery in bio-waste that has been published in the journal ACS Nano, according to BBC.

Mitlin and his team presented their findings at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, where it was explained how waste fibres from hemp can be transformed into high performance energy storage devices.

The hemp – which is legal to grow due to the absence of THC – is producing supercapacitors that are at least on par with the graphene, which is known to be the industry’s gold standard.

Dr. Mitlin and his researchers primary focusing on taking produces that are considered waste and evolving them into something applicable and with high value.

This from BBC:

But the leftover bast fibre – the inner bark – typically ends up as landfill. Dr Mitlin’s team took these fibres and recycled them into supercapacitors – energy storage devices which are transforming the way electronics are powered.

Read the full article here.

If you’re interested in Dr. Mitlin’s research, take a look at this article that he published with ECS.

ECS Urges Constituents to Join ORCID

ORCID

ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and its cooperation with other identifier systems.

ECS is pleased to announce that it recently became a member of the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) registry. ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort founded by academic institutions, professional bodies, funding agencies, and publishers to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers intended to remedy the systemic name ambiguity problem seen in scholarly research. ORCID resolves the confusion brought about by name changes, the cultural differences in name order presentation, and the inconsistent use of first-name and middle-name abbreviations on published research papers.

(more…)

Sensors

Sensors detect and measure changes in position, temperature, light, etc. and they are necessary to turn billions of objects into data-generating “things” that can report on their status, and in some cases, interact with their environment.

With countless companies adopting the ever growing technology that is the Internet of Things (IoT), it is expected to grow to a multitrillion-dollar market by the year 2020.

The basic concept of IoT is to bring as many things into the digital fold as possible and create an ultimate sense of interconnection through hardware and software – but most importantly, through sensors.

(more…)

ECS history book cover

Created for the centennial celebration of The Electrochemical Society (1902-2002).

Since its foundation in 1902, ECS and its members have been at the forefront of the challenge to bridge the gap between electrical engineering and chemistry. The years that followed the Society’s establishment have been filled with innovation, ingenuity, and excellence throughout the field of electrochemistry. Take a look back at some of ECS’s most prestigious members and their accomplishments.

Samuel Ruben

Ruben presenting his Acheson Award address in 1970.

Samuel Ruben
In 1918, Samuel Ruben, an 18-year old high school graduate, was hired by the Electrochemical Products Company in New York City. Bergen Davis of Columbia University arranged for Ruben to sit in on courses at Columbia and spent evenings tutoring him. Ruben went on to invent the dry electrolytic aluminum capacitor, the vacuum tube relay, the quick heather vacuum tube, a sold-state rectifier, and the balanced cell mercury battery.

(more…)

Nikola Tesla

Tesla was known for discovering amazing things and then forgetting to write them down.

You know his name, but how much do you really know about Nikola Tesla? The writers over at The Oatmeal want you to be aware of all of Tesla’s glory, and put together quite the comic to demonstrate it.

This from The Oatmeal:

Over one hundred years ago, a Serbian-American inventor by the name of Nikola Tesla started fixing things that weren’t broken… Tesla’s contributions were not incremental; they were revolutionary.

Learn more about this underdog and his inventions and contributions to science, which included: alternating current, hydroelectricity, cryogenic engineering, the remote control, neon lighting, and wireless communication just to name a few.

Check out the comic here.

Although The Oatmeal paints Thomas Edison – Tesla’s competitor and often times rival – as “a non-geek who operated in geek space,” we at ECS are still proud to have had him as a member of the Society.

If you’re looking for more humorous renditions of Tesla’s storied past, check out this Drunk History rendition via Funny or Die.