More flexible method floated to produce biofuels, electricity--Purdue News (10/14/08)
October 14, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers are proposing a new "flexible" approach to producing alternative fuels, hydrogen and electricity from municipal solid wastes, agricultural wastes, forest residues and sewage sludge that could supply up to 20 percent of transportation fuels in the United States annually.
The method offers a potential solution to problems that might be created by increasing production of ethanol with conventional methods, which use corn grain as a feedstock. Boosting ethanol production with conventional methods would require additional crops and heavy fertilizer use, increasing runoff into waterways and threatening ecosystems.
The new concept, however, which Purdue researchers call a flexible carbon-to-liquid fuel process, would require no additional crops and use primarily wastes as the feedstock, said Fu Zhao, a Purdue assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
July 21, 2016
The recent recall of hoverboards because of exploding lithium-ion batteries highlights the danger of overheating batteries. Amy Marconnet, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, can speak about the effects of excessive heating in batteries. Marconnet (pronounced mar-co-nay) founded the Marconnet Thermal and Energy Conversion Lab, where researchers are dissecting the batteries and testing materials making up electrodes and a critical component called a separator. (A video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCTMA8sxZO0) Battery failures have been reported in products ranging from commercial airliners and laptops to hoverboards and cellphones. Chemical reactions in the batteries generate heat while discharging and charging. The separator is a layer of material between the positive and negative electrodes. When it fails due to high heat, the battery short-circuits and could explode.Read Full Story