August 31, 2009
Welcome to the Customer Service Blog of NADA Scientific! Here you will find information about our products, as well as other useful information and articles related to the world of science. Feel free to browse around our blog. Scroll down to see our most recent posts.
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August 26, 2009
For several years the debate over global warming has been occurring. A large portion of this give-and-take revolves around the pollution caused by gas powered vehicles. While the reality of global warming is still being discussed in both the public and private sphere, technology is speeding ahead to help limit it effects.
A brief synopsis of some of these efforts are presented in the article Teaching Students about Clean Fuels and Transportation Technologies, (Technology Teacher, April 2009). The authors discuss issues and technologies which are being implemented across the world, and so should be taught to students. Among the ideas presented are:
Fuel Efficient Vehicles: Also known as FEVs, which are traditionally powered vehicles which limit the emissions produced
Alternative Fuels and Vehicles: This refers to non-petroleum based fuels and the vehicles that run on them
Flexible-Fuel Vehicles: These use both traditional and alternative fuels
Biomass: Plant and animal matter that is used to make energy
Ethanol: A renewable grain fuel made from the fermentation of plant materials
Biodiesel: Fuel derived from soy, canola and other plants
Hydrogen: The cleanest of fuels
Hydrogen Fuel Cells: An electrochemical energy conversion device that will continue to produce electricity as long as it has a constant flow of chemicals.
Battery Powered Vehicles: Vehicles which rely on rechargeable batteries.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Use a combination of an internal-combustion engine and an electric motor.
Solar Vehicles: Photovoltaic cells are used to convert sunlight into electricity.
While that list is long, informing students and peers about these basics is essential, as automotive technology keeps on rolling forward. Luckily, Nada Scientific is here to provide the necessary tools for up-to-date science and automotive education. On our site you will find fun and informative products to teach you and your students more about these new technologies.
August 24, 2009
Earlier this year Discover Magazine highlighted a way two MIT chemists are helping promote the use of solar energy. One of the main limits on solar power is storage. There are very few cost effective storage modules for solar energy. Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan are trying to devise one by using cobalt as a catalyst.
This method mimics the way plants use and store solar power. The cobalt is used as a catalyst, along with phosphate and an electrode placed in water. These are placed in water in order to separate out oxygen gas. A second catalyst, platinum, is used to separate the hydrogen. When electricity is applied through the electrode the cobalt/phosphate catalyst produces a film on the electrode that produces oxygen.
This system is based on plant photosynthesis, and its genius is in its simplicity. It does not require extensive set-up, as it can be accomplished using neutral pH water and without hefty equipment.
Electronic Design; 9/25/2008, Vol. 56 Issue 19, p65-65
Discover Magazine; 4/17/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 15, p15-15
August 24, 2009
Most of the universe is dark. Dark matter that is. This mostly unknown matter can only be seen through its effects, as it is non-visible.
The July 18 edition of the Economist discusses two recent discoveries related to dark matter by Michael Kuhlen of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ and Dr. Pierre Colin of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany.
Dr. Kuhlen and his colleagues simulated the presence and movement of the dark matter throughout the milky way since 50 million years after the Big Bang. This computer model shows that dark matter should be annihilating more quickly than had been previously thought.
Dr. Colin and colleagues have discovered a potential new way to study the mysterious matter utilizing the shadow of the moon.
The moon blocks not only light, but particles like electrons and positrons as well. However, the particles are still there, and interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field. Using this peculiarity, Dr. Colin will be able to use the shadow to see if the number of positrons matches current theory, shedding light on the issue of dark matter.
August 21, 2009
In discussions about alternative fuels, on of the most mentioned possibilities is Hydrogen power. Hydrogen is combined with oxygen to produce energy, with water and heat as byproducts. As with other alternative fuels, one of the issues at hand is how to produce the hydrogen cleanly and effectively. The ways researchers and engineers are trying to solve this are stated in the article “Renewable Hydrogen Reproduction Technologies,” from the November 2008 issue of Power Engineering.
Hydrogen can be produced from water by electrolysis. While the means to power this cleanly and without emissions is still underway, students can be shown electrolysis at work using one of our electrolysis kits.
According to that article, one of the most promising ways to power electrolysis involves utilizing the hydrogen that is found in anaerobic digester gas (ADG), which is an organic waste product, and methane, in electrolysis. This is already in use in a fuel cell power plant in Yonkers, NY. According to UTC Power, ADG using fuel cells only release 72 pounds of emissions into the environment. This is in contrast to the more than 41,000 pounds from the average oil-fired plant.
August 21, 2009
In this tough economic climate, graduating students are taking a hard look at a dwindling job market. There is one sector, however, which is poised to grow. Last month BusinessWeek published the article Now Hiring: Green-Collar Workers, which discusses the growing demand for people working in the alternative energy field. As cited by that article, green jobs grew by 9.1% from 1998 to 2007, nearly two and a half times faster than the overall job market.
In the higher education system, enrollment in green collar fields is growing. Kansas College’s Wind Energy Program can’t keep up with the demand. In fact, many of the students in the program have jobs lined up even before they graduate. And it is just one of the many eco-friendly programs available. According to USA Today (08/03/2009), there are a number of new programs available to help train green collar workers, including Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability.
What this means for science educators: Students should be exposed to alternative energy technology in order to acclimate them to this burgeoning market. It can be as simple as explaining the reasoning behind alternative fuels, or as complex as having them assemble a Hydro-Wind Kit to further their understanding.