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Researchers from North Carolina State College have developed a wi-fi system that makes use of radio transmitters and receivers to estimate soil moisture in agricultural fields at a number of depths in actual time, bettering on present applied sciences that can be utilized to tell irrigation practices that each enhance crop yield and cut back water consumption.

“Estimating is necessary as a result of it may be utilized by growers to irrigate their fields extra effectively—solely irrigating fields when and the place the water is required,” says Usman Mahmood Khan, first writer of a paper on the work and a Ph.D. pupil at NC State. “This each conserves and helps issues like good agriculture applied sciences, equivalent to automated irrigation programs. What’s extra, conserving water sources may also assist cut back , as a result of much less energy is used to pump water by way of the irrigation system.”

The brand new expertise, referred to as Contactless Moisture Estimation (CoMEt), doesn’t require any in-ground sensors. As a substitute, CoMEt assesses soil moisture utilizing one thing referred to as “part,” which is a attribute of radio waves that’s affected by each the wavelength of the radio waves and the gap between the radio wave’s transmitter and the wave’s receiver.

Wi-fi indicators are radio waves, and the medium that these indicators are touring by way of impacts the wavelength of these radio waves. When the sign travels by way of a medium like air, it can have a selected wavelength. However when the sign travels by way of a distinct medium, equivalent to soil, its wavelength modifications.

“We all know that these part shifts are additionally influenced by the quantity of water within the soil. If we all know how far the sign has traveled, and we measure how a wi-fi sign’s wavelength has modified, we are able to decide the part shift of the sign,” Khan says. “This, in flip, permits us to estimate the quantity of water within the soil.”

CoMEt depends on an above-ground wi-fi gadget that transmits radio waves into the soil. Some portion of the radio waves passes by way of the soil earlier than being mirrored again into the air, the place the wi-fi gadget can obtain the sign and measure the part shift. The system permits customers to evaluate soil moisture at a number of depths by rising the ability of the transmitted sign—the extra highly effective the sign, the deeper the evaluation.

“This course of permits us to evaluate soil moisture at a number of depths utilizing a single sign, with out utilizing any sensors within the soil or in touch with the ,” says Muhammad Shahzad, co-author of the paper and an affiliate professor of pc science at NC State. “For instance, we have demonstrated in experimental testing that if we use a sign that’s highly effective sufficient to penetrate 38 centimeters into the soil, we’re capable of assess how the part of the sign modified on the floor degree of soil, 38 centimeters beneath the floor, and at an intermediate degree between these two.”

That is doable as a result of the CoMEt gadget comprises a number of antennas, permitting it to seize a big quantity of knowledge from the radio waves that “bounce” out of the soil. The measurements collected by the gadget’s suite of antennas are then plugged into an algorithm that may decide each modifications within the sign’s wavelength and the way deep the sign traveled into the soil. This enables the CoMEt gadget to precisely assess the part change of the sign, which in flip offers customers a soil moisture estimate for the related depths.

“Estimating the soil moisture at a number of depths is necessary, as a result of farmers typically want to take care of sure ranges of moisture at totally different depths relying on the crop and the place they’re within the crop-cycle,” Khan explains.

“We predict CoMEt might be utilized in a number of methods,” says Shahzad. “Growers might manually transfer the CoMEt gadget to measure soil moisture at varied factors within the discipline; they may use CoMEt along side a operated by hand drone to evaluate soil moisture; or they may use CoMEt with an automatic drone that flies an outlined sample over the sector.”

Applied sciences which can be presently in use by growers to measure soil moisture depend on in-ground sensors. Nonetheless, this method requires farmers to put a number of sensors across the discipline with a purpose to seize moisture ranges, since moisture ranges fluctuate because of variations in drainage, proximity to irrigation strains, and so forth. For giant fields, growers want plenty of sensors—and that will get costly.

“We predict it might be doable to fabricate CoMEt units for about the identical amount of cash as an correct in-ground sensor,” says Khan. “However the place a grower would solely want one CoMEt gadget, they must purchase fairly just a few in-ground sensors to gather the identical quantity of knowledge on soil moisture. In brief, we expect CoMEt can be considerably more economical.

“What’s extra, set up and upkeep of in-ground sensors is time-consuming and inconvenient. And CoMEt requires neither.”

“At this level, we’re in search of trade companions to discover how we are able to get this expertise into the fingers of growers who will have the ability to make use of it,” Shahzad says.

The paper, “Estimating Soil Moisture utilizing RF Indicators,” shall be introduced on the twenty eighth Annual Worldwide Convention On Cell Computing And Networking (ACM MobiCom), being held Oct. 17–21 in Sydney, Australia.


Farmers can save water with wireless technologies, but there are challenges, like transmitting data through mud


Extra info:
Usman Mahmood Khan et al, Estimating Soil Moisture utilizing RF Indicators, ACM MobiCom Proceedings (2022). DOI: 10.1145/3495243.3517025

Convention: www.sigmobile.org/mobicom/2022/

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Wi-fi tech measures soil moisture at a number of depths in actual time (2022, August 17)
retrieved 17 August 2022
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To help meet global EV demand, researchers develop sustainable method for recycling older lithium-ion batteries

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To help meet global EV demand, researchers develop sustainable method for recycling older lithium-ion batteries


Professor Gisele Azimi and PhD candidate Jiakai (Kevin) Zhang have proposed a brand new, extra sustainable methodology to get better helpful metals from lithium-ion batteries which have reached the tip of their helpful lives. Credit score: Safa Jinje

A College of Toronto researcher has developed a brand new method to assist recycle the metals in lithium-ion batteries, that are in excessive demand amid surging world gross sales of electrical automobiles.

Gisele Azimi, a professor within the departments of supplies science and engineering and chemical engineering and utilized chemistry within the School of Utilized Science & Engineering, and her workforce have proposed a brand new, extra to mine helpful metals—together with lithium, but additionally cobalt, nickel and manganese—from which have reached the tip of their helpful lifespan.

“Getting these metals from uncooked ore takes a variety of energy,” says Jiakai (Kevin) Zhang, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering and utilized chemistry who’s lead writer on a brand new paper not too long ago revealed in Sources, Conservation and Recycling.

“If we recycle current batteries, we will maintain the constrained provide chain and assist deliver down the price of EV batteries, making the automobiles extra inexpensive.”

A part of Canada’s dedication to succeed in net-zero emissions by 2050 features a obligatory goal requiring 100% of recent light-duty automobiles and passenger vehicles offered within the nation to be electric by 2035.

Attaining this goal would require a rise within the provide of vital metals, the worth of which is already very excessive. For instance, cobalt, a key ingredient within the cathode manufacturing of lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide (generally abbreviated as NMC) batteries extensively utilized in EVs, can be one of the costly parts of lithium-ion batteries attributable to its restricted reserve.

“We’re about to succeed in a degree the place many lithium-ion batteries are reaching their ,” says Azimi. ”These batteries are nonetheless very wealthy in components of curiosity and might present a vital useful resource for restoration.”

Not solely can recycling present these supplies at a decrease value, nevertheless it additionally reduces the necessity to mine uncooked ore that comes with environmental and moral prices.

The life expectancy of EV batteries is from 10 to twenty years, however most automotive producers solely present a assure for eight years or 160,000 kilometers—whichever comes first. When EV batteries attain finish of life, they are often refurbished for second-life makes use of or recycled to get better metals. However right now, many batteries are discarded improperly and find yourself in landfills.

“If we hold mining lithium, cobalt and nickel for batteries after which simply landfill them at end-of-life, there shall be a damaging environmental impression, particularly if corrosive electrolyte leaching happens and contaminates underground water programs,” says Zhang.

Standard processes for recycling lithium-ion batteries are based mostly on pyrometallurgy, which makes use of extraordinarily excessive temperature, or hydrometallurgy, which makes use of acids and decreasing brokers for extraction. These two processes are each energy intensive: pyrometallurgy produces greenhouse fuel emissions, whereas hydrometallurgy creates wastewater that must be processed and dealt with.

In distinction, Azimi’s lab group is utilizing supercritical fluid extraction to get better metals from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. This course of separates one part from one other through the use of an extracting solvent at a temperature and strain above its vital level, the place it adopts the properties of each a liquid and a fuel.

To get better the metals, Zhang used carbon dioxide as a solvent, which was dropped at a supercritical section by growing the temperature above 31ºC, and the strain as much as 7 megapascals.

Within the paper, the workforce confirmed that this course of matched the extraction effectivity of lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese to 90% when in comparison with the standard leaching processes, whereas additionally utilizing fewer chemical substances and producing considerably much less secondary waste. In actual fact, the primary supply of energy expended through the supercritical fluid extraction course of was as a result of compression of CO2.

“The benefit of our methodology is that we’re utilizing from the air because the solvent as an alternative of extremely hazardous acids or bases,” she says. “Carbon dioxide is plentiful, low cost and inert, and it is also simple to deal with, vent and recycle.” 

Supercritical fluid extraction just isn’t a brand new course of. It has been used within the meals and pharmaceutical industries to extract caffeine from espresso beans because the Nineteen Seventies. Azimi and her workforce’s work builds on earlier analysis within the Laboratory for Strategic Supplies to get better from nickel--hydride batteries.

Nevertheless, that is the primary time that this course of has been used to get better metals from lithium-ion batteries, she says.

“We actually imagine within the success and the advantages of this course of,” says Azimi.

“We are actually shifting in direction of commercialization of this methodology to extend its know-how readiness degree. Our subsequent step is to finalize partnerships to construct industrial-scale recycling amenities for secondary sources. If it is enabled, it will be a giant sport changer.”


Closed-loop cobalt recycling from spent lithium-ion batteries based on a deep eutectic solvent


Extra info:
Jiakai Zhang et al, Recycling of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese from end-of-life lithium-ion battery of an electrical automobile utilizing supercritical carbon dioxide, Sources, Conservation and Recycling (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2022.106628

Quotation:
To assist meet world EV demand, researchers develop sustainable methodology for recycling older lithium-ion batteries (2022, October 4)
retrieved 5 October 2022
from https://techxplore.com/information/2022-10-global-ev-demand-sustainable-method.html

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Using microwaves for low-cost production of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites for use in sodium-ion batteries

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Using microwaves for low-cost production of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites for use in sodium-ion batteries


Using microwaves for low-cost production of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites for use in sodium-ion batteries
Synthesis means of sodium iron phosphate via ball milling and microwave assisted and meeting of associated batteries and supercapacitors. Credit score: Scientific Experiences (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-20329-x

A staff of researchers at Superior Expertise and New Supplies Analysis Institute in Egypt has developed a quick and cheap solution to synthesize alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites to be used in sodium-ion batteries. Of their paper revealed within the journal Scientific Experiences, the group describes their course of and the way properly it labored.

With the continued rising demand for battery-powered merchandise reminiscent of vehicles and telephones, there’s elevated consideration centered on batteries. The present normal is the . However is getting more durable to seek out as it’s not very plentiful, so scientists have been searching for different. To this point, sodium-ion batteries appear to carry probably the most promise. Sodium is kind of plentiful and straightforward to mine, and batteries made with it could be a lot greener than these made with lithium—and safer as a result of they might not pose an explosion danger.

Sadly, such batteries nonetheless price extra to make than , which is why researchers such because the staff in Egypt are searching for cheaper methods to make them. On this new effort, they’ve developed a that entails the usage of microwaves as a heating mechanism.

The brand new methodology concerned first mixing Fe3(PO4)2, 8 H2O, Na2HPO4, glucose and ACM. As soon as combined, the fabric was ball milled after which positioned in a microwave gadget (the researchers used an ordinary off-the-shelf microwave oven) together with a mix of rice straw ash to facilitate heating.

After heating after which cooling, the ensuing materials was a mixture of sodium, iron phosphates-carbon nanocomposites that may very well be used to make a sodium-ion battery cathode. The researchers word that the heating course of occurs in roughly 60 seconds. Additionally they word their processing approach is considerably sooner than others which have been tried and doesn’t contain the usage of high-purity inert gases throughout any stage of processing, which, they level out, reduces the price of manufacturing.

The researchers word that along with use in making , the approach they developed may be used to make sodium-ion supercapacitors.


Block copolymer electrolyte used to make stable sodium metal batteries


Extra info:
Wael Wazeer et al, Extremely-fast green microwave assisted synthesis of NaFePO4-C nanocomposites for sodium ion batteries and supercapacitors, Scientific Experiences (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-20329-x

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Utilizing microwaves for low-cost manufacturing of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites to be used in sodium-ion batteries (2022, October 4)
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Online tool offers industry easier way to track carbon footprint

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Online tool offers industry easier way to track carbon footprint


Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an online tool that offers industrial plants an easier way to track and download information about their energy footprint and carbon emissions.

Visualizing Energy Reporting Information and Financial Implications, or VERIFI, is a tool that uses an open-source framework with a utility dashboard. It allows energy coordinators and plant managers to monitor and improve their understanding of energy and water use patterns including the amount of carbon emitted from . Users can generate automatic reports, too.

“Industries want to know how to conserve and improve efficiency while reducing costs but often don’t know how to begin or lack the time to track it,” ORNL’s Kristina Armstrong said. “VERIFI provides a user-friendly platform for monitoring energy efficiency benchmarks and baselines and allows for the visualization of energy and utility bills.”


New evaluation framework for energy neutrality potential of wastewater treatment plants


Citation:
Online tool offers industry easier way to track carbon footprint (2022, October 4)
retrieved 4 October 2022
from https://techxplore.com/news/2022-10-online-tool-industry-easier-track.html

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