A team of scientists has reported an electrochemical reduction reaction pathway that can avoid *CO dimerization to produce 1-butanol from CO2 using copper phosphide as a cathode
GWANGJU, South Korea, July 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Researchers today are looking for ways to convert CO2, which is rapidly accumulating in the atmosphere, into other valuable organic products. Now, scientists from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea have proposed a reaction for the highly selective production of 1-butanol, a valuable alternative fuel, by electrochemical reduction using copper phosphide electrodes. Their findings offer a new insight on the use of Cu-based electrocatalysts for the electroreduction of CO2.
Human activities like the burning of coal and fossil fuels have caused CO2 to accumulate in the atmosphere, which has significantly affected the Earth‘s climate. As a result, several scientists are looking for ways to convert CO2 into other valuable organic products, such as 1-butanol, which has shown promise as an alternative fuel for vehicles. This could help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
One method of obtaining useful compounds is by the electrochemical reduction reaction (CO2RR). Researchers have developed metal-based catalysts that can fulfill this task. However, there is a caveat: most of these catalysts are expensive and produce a variety of products during the reaction, which can be difficult to separate.
To solve this problem, a team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Jaeyoung Lee and comprising Mr. Minjun Choi, Dr. Jin Won Kim, and Prof. Sungyool Bong from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in South Korea came up with a procedure that directly generates 1-butanol with the help of copper phosphide (CuP2) without first undergoing CO dimerization. “We are trying to develop a Cu-based electrode for electrochemical conversion of CO2 that avoids *CO dimerization and can help us increase the selectivity of the product so that additional power consumption from separation processes can be avoided,” explains Mr. Minjun Choi, a Ph.D. student at the university and the paper‘s first author. Their research has recently been published in volume 6 (issue 6) of the journal ACS Energy Letters on 11 June 2021 and has been available online since 11 May 2021.
Even though numerous copper-based electrocatalysts exist today, this is among the first instances in which CuP2 has been used to develop an electrocatalyst that is highly product-selective. It induces a C-C coupling reaction and circumvents the formation of CO, which is known to be a critical intermediate for Cu-based systems. The researchers confirmed this by using surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy to show that their CuP2 electrocatalyst yielded the desired product, 1-butanol, with a remarkably high Faradaic efficiency of >3%.
The team is excited about the implications of their findings. “Our goal is to design new electrodes that are stackable, that can increase production rates, and that can promote conversion efficiency so that we can make our goal of converting and using CO2 as a fuel in reality,” concludes Prof. Lee.
Title of original paper: Formation of 1–Butanol from CO2 without *CO Dimerization on a Phosphorus-Rich Copper Cathode
Journal: ACS Energy Letters
Corresponding author‘s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST)
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SOURCE Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
Facial Recognition—Now for Seals – Hakai Magazine
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Have you ever looked at a seal and thought, Is that the same seal I saw yesterday? Well, there could soon be an app for that based on new seal facial recognition technology. Known as SealNet, this seal face-finding system was developed by a team of undergraduate students from Colgate University in New York.
Taking inspiration from other technology adapted for recognizing primates and bears, Krista Ingram, a biologist at Colgate University, led the students in developing software that uses deep learning and a convolutional neural network to tell one seal face from another. SealNet is tailored to identify the harbor seal, a species with a penchant for posing on coasts in haulouts.
The team had to train their software to identify seal faces. “I give it a photograph, it finds the face, [and] clips it to a standard size,” says Ingram. But then she and her students would manually identify the nose, the mouth, and the center of the eyes.
For the project, team members snapped more than 2,000 pictures of seals around Casco Bay, Maine, during a two-year period. They tested the software using 406 different seals and found that SealNet could correctly identify the seals’ faces 85 percent of the time. The team has since expanded its database to include around 1,500 seal faces. As the number of seals logged in the database goes up, so too should the accuracy of the identification, Ingram says.
As with all tech, however, SealNet is not infallible. The software saw seal faces in other body parts, vegetation, and even rocks. In one case, Ingram and her students did a double take at the uncanny resemblance between a rock and a seal face. “[The rock] did look like a seal face,” Ingram says. “The darker parts were about the same distance as the eyes … so you can understand why the software found a face.” Consequently, she says it’s always best to manually check that seal faces identified by the software belong to a real seal.
Like a weary seal hauling itself onto a beach for an involuntary photo shoot, the question of why this is all necessary raises itself. Ingram believes SealNet could be a useful, noninvasive tool for researchers.
Of the world’s pinnipeds—a group that includes seals, walruses, and sea lions—harbor seals are considered the most widely dispersed. Yet knowledge gaps do exist. Other techniques to track seals, such as tagging and aerial monitoring, have their limitations and can be highly invasive or expensive.
Ingram points to site fidelity as an aspect of seal behavior that SealNet could shed more light on. The team’s trials indicated that some harbor seals return to the same haulout sites year after year. Other seals, however, such as two animals the team nicknamed Clove and Petal, appeared at two different sites together. Increasing scientists’ understanding of how seals move around could strengthen arguments for protecting specific areas, says Anders Galatius, an ecologist at Aarhus University in Denmark who was not involved in the project.
Galatius, who is responsible for monitoring Denmark’s seal populations, says the software “shows a lot of promise.” If the identification rates are improved, it could be paired with another photo identification method that identifies seals by distinctive markings on their pelage, he says.
In the future, after further testing, Ingram hopes to develop an app based on SealNet. The app, she says, could possibly allow citizen scientists to contribute to logging seal faces. The program could also be adapted for other pinnipeds and possibly even for cetaceans.
NASA launches nanosatellite in preparation for lunar 'Gateway' station – Yahoo News Canada
Nasa has launched a tiny CubeSat this week to test and orbit which will soon be used by Gateway, a lunar space station.
It’s all part of the space agency’s plan to put a woman on the moon by 2025.
The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (Capstone) mission launched from New Zealand on Tuesday.
Jim Reuter, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate, said: “Capstone is an example of how working with commercial partners is key for Nasa’s ambitious plans to explore the moon and beyond.
“We’re thrilled with a successful start to the mission and looking forward to what Capstone will do once it arrives at the Moon.”
Read more: Astronomers find closest black hole to Earth
The satellite is currently in low-Earth orbit, and it will take the spacecraft about four months to reach its targeted lunar orbit.
Capstone is attached to Rocket Lab’s Lunar Photon, an interplanetary third stage that will send it on its way to deep space.
Over the next six days, Photon’s engine will periodically ignite to accelerate it beyond low-Earth orbit, where Photon will release the CubeSat on a trajectory to the moon.
Capstone will then use its own propulsion and the sun’s gravity to navigate the rest of the way to the Moon.
The gravity-driven track will dramatically reduce the amount of fuel the CubeSat needs to get to the Moon.
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Bradley Cheetham, principal investigator for CAPSTONE and chief executive officer of Advanced Space, “Our team is now preparing for separation and initial acquisition for the spacecraft in six days.
“We have already learned a tremendous amount getting to this point, and we are passionate about the importance of returning humans to the Moon, this time to stay!”
At the moon, Capstone will enter an elongated orbit called a near rectilinear halo orbit, or NRHO.
Once in the NRHO, Capstone will fly within 1,000 miles of the moon’s north pole on its near pass and 43,500 miles from the south pole at its farthest.
It will repeat the cycle every six-and-a-half days and maintain this orbit for at least six months to study dynamics.
“Capstone is a pathfinder in many ways, and it will demonstrate several technology capabilities during its mission timeframe while navigating a never-before-flown orbit around the Moon,” said Elwood Agasid, project manager for Capstone at Nasa’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.
“Capstone is laying a foundation for Artemis, Gateway, and commercial support for future lunar operations.”
It would be the first time people have walked on the moon since the last Apollo moon mission in 1972.
Just 12 people have walked on the moon – all men.
Nasa flew six manned missions to the surface of the moon, beginning with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in July 1969, up to Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt in December 1972.
The mission will use Nasa’s powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), and the Orion spacecraft.
Watch: NASA launch paves way for moon orbit station
The year’s biggest and brightest supermoon will appear in July & here’s when you’ll … – Curiocity
Summer is here and with it? Sunshine – and some serious moonshine (of the visible variety, of course). This upcoming month, look up in anticipation of the biggest and brightest event of the year, the July Buck supermoon – which will hover over North America on July 13th.
Appearing 7% larger and lower in the sky, this particular event will be one well worth keeping an eye on when it rises above the horizon.
This will be the closest we’ll get to our celestial neighbour in 2022 (357,418 km) and while North America won’t get to see it when it reaches peak illumination at 2:38 pm ETC., it’ll still look pretty dang impressive after the sunsets.
Not sure when the moon rises in your area? Here’s the earliest that you’ll be able to see the moon in various cities across the continent according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
- Seattle, Washington – 9:50 pm PDT
- Vancouver, British Columbia – 10:02 pm PDT
- Calgary, Alberta – 10:35 pm MST
- Edmonton, Alberta – 10:49 pm MST
- Toronto, Ontario – 9:34 pm MST
- Montreal, Quebec – 9:18 pm MST
Until then, cross your fingers for a clear sky, friends! It’s going to be incredible.
When: Wednesday, July 13th
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