More information: Weizhong Xu et al. “Efficient Water Transport and Solar Steam Generation via Radially, Hierarchically Structured Aerogels.” ACS Nano. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b02331 Efficiently moving water upward against gravity is a major feat of human engineering, yet one that trees have mastered for hundreds of millions of years. In a new study, researchers have designed a tree-inspired water transport system that uses capillary forces to drive dirty water upward through a hierarchically structured aerogel, where it can then be converted into steam by solar energy to produce fresh, clean water. Aerogels capped with carbon nanotubes pull water upward and transform it into steam, purifying it for collection. Credit: Xu et al. ©2019 American Chemical Society Dyed water flows upward through forked branches of the aerogel. Credit: Xu et al. ©2019 American Chemical Society This design is very similar to the one that plants use. Plants contain many tiny xylem vessels that draw water from the ground up through their branches and leaves—sometimes hundreds of feet in the air. Once the water reaches the leaves, solar radiation causes the water to evaporate through tiny pores in the leaves, similar to the carbon solar steam generator. Recreating an efficient tree-like water transport system has been challenging, with most previous attempts exhibiting relatively slow transport speeds, short transport distances, and a decrease in performance when transporting sewage and seawater compared to clean water. With the new aerogel design, the researchers demonstrated improvements in all these areas, achieving upward flow performance of 10 cm in the first 5 minutes and 28 cm after 3 hours. The system also works equally well with clean water, seawater, sewage, and sandy groundwater. In addition, the carbon heat collector achieves a high energy conversion efficiency of up to 85%. Journal information: ACS Nano Explore further © 2019 Science X Network The key to the improvements was the careful design of the aerogel’s architecture. To fabricate the material, the researchers poured the aerogel ingredients into a copper tube, which they then subjected to a temperature gradient where the cold end of the tube was a cool –90 degrees Celsius. This caused ice crystals to grow in a pattern within the aerogel along the temperature gradient. After freeze-drying the tube, the resulting aerogel displayed a hierarchical structure with radially aligned channels, micro-sized pores, wrinkled inner surfaces, and molecular meshes. These tiny structures all contributed to the aerogel’s good performance. In the future, the researchers plan to further improve the performance of the system to prepare for applications.”We hope to further optimize the experimental scheme and carry out large-scale production,” Liu said. “We also hope to further improve the length of water conveyance, the speed of water conveyance, and the efficiency of water collection, so as to better carry out practical applications.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Solar steam generators could be made with wood, fabric or sponges The researchers, led by Aiping Liu at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University and Hao Bai at Zhejiang University, have published a paper on the new water transport and solar steam generation method in a recent issue of ACS Nano. In the future, efficient water transport methods have potential applications in water purification and desalination. “Our preparation method is universal and can be industrialized,” Liu told Phys.org. “Our materials have excellent properties and good stability, and can be reused many times. This provides the possibility for large-scale desalination and sewage treatment in the future.”The new system consists of two main components: a long, porous, ultralight aerogel to transport water, and a carbon nanotube layer on top of the aerogel to absorb sunlight and turn the water into steam. The system is enclosed in a glass container. Water travels upward through the pores in the aerogel due to capillary forces, which are caused by adhesion between the water molecules and the inner surface of the pores. Once the water reaches the top, the solar-heated carbon nanotube layer heats the water into steam, leaving any contaminants behind. The steam condenses on the sides of the surrounding glass container, forming water droplets that flow down to the bottom of the container into a reservoir for collection. Citation: Antigravity water transport system inspired by trees (2019, July 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-antigravity-trees.html
Opposition BJP on Tuesday created ruckus in the Bihar Assembly over hike in electricity charges by 15 paisa per unit in urban areas and 10 paisa per unit in rural areas and urged the government to immediately roll back its decision.Leader of Opposition Nand Kishore Yadav cornered the Nitish Kumar government over the hike and sought immediate roll back of the increase in power rates. “When prices of coal and diesel are going down, the Bihar government has decided to raise power tariff,” he said. Yadav rubbished the argument that the hike was needed to narrow the gap of loss to power companies and said their loss was basically due to “inefficiency” to bring down transmission and distribution losses to the tune of 44 per cent.The Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) on Monday approved an increase by 2.5 per cent across all categories of consumers except agriculture, public water works and street light consumers.
Kolkata: A 24-year-old youth from Karaya in Kolkata drowned while bathing in Digha. His body was recovered on Wednesday morning.Police said the victim, Azhar Ali, was a resident of Karaya. He went to Digha with six other friends on Tuesday.He drowned while bathing on Tuesday. His friends sought help of the police. Policemen from Digha police station initiated a search. They found the body in Old Digha on Wednesday morning. The body was sent for an autopsy. Police are trying to find out how he drowned. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn another incident at Regent Park in Kolkata, a class XII student, Sanjay Saha, drowned while bathing in a pond.Locals informed police that he went missing. Police searched all the places in the area. They finally searched the pond and fished out his body. Police sent the body for an autopsy and initiated a probe in this connection. He was a resident of Anandapalli at Regent Park and the incident took place in a pond close to his house.
In the heart of Germany’s business capital, four Indians showcased a facet of the country’s soft power: handicrafts. With India the partner country of one of the world’s biggest consumer goods trade fairs, its pavilions are serving as a window to its diverse cultures and deft craftspeople. At Ambiente 2019, that brings together global manufacturers, traders and buyers of innovatively designed products, designers Sunil Sethi, Sandeep Sangaru, and Ayush Kasliwal – who presented India’s campaign Hand Make in India here – have created an India experience at the event, where over 515 Indian exhibitors are showcasing products in the Living, Giving and Dining categories. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Frankfurt exhibition grounds saw, for the first time, four Indian award-winning craftspeople giving demos of the crafts they championed over decades. Tapas Kumar Jana, a recipient of 2016 National Award, demonstrated the centuries-old Masland mat weaving. He painstakingly wove away on these grass-based chatais, as global visitors stopped in awe and often video-recorded the elaborate procedure. “The grass we use grows in West Bengal. We make thin strips of it with our teeth, and then weave these manually using our instruments. One simple mat can take several weeks, with the time going up as designs get complicated,” Jana said, adding that these chatais were gifted during weddings as a norm. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDisplaying woven grass mats as soft and malleable as pashmina fabric, Jana said the craft is changing as per the modern consumer demands. Not just gifted mats, the finished Masland sheets can now be used to create folders, bags, wall hangings and table decor products – customised versions of a traditional craft to suit modern needs. The contemporary use of Jana’s mats draws from India’s larger showcase at the trade fair. Handmade, which is touted as India’s strength, is often thought of as products incapable of competing with the industrially produced modern consumer goods. Is modernising Indian handicrafts the way forward? Sunil Sethi said yes. Speaking on the intricacies of Indian design, he emphasised that the world needs to wake up to its strengths, and platforms like Ambiente provide a visibility like no other. “Indian design doesn’t lack the talent, but the exposure. If we are competing in a global market, designers from the country must come and see what the world has to offer. It is an eye-opener,” Sethi said, during a walkthrough of the pavilion designed by him. Displaying modular furniture done in the traditional Ikat style, a sofa with wood blocks as the upholstery, and a beautiful and minimalist peacock glass installation, Sethi said the homes, globally, are changing and modern versions of handicrafts become a way of expanding markets and also retaining the future generations in the trade. Inder Singh Kudrat, a veteran Rajasthani craftsperson, who was awarded the top artisan honour of Shilp Guru, stressed the importance of global visibility to “keep children’s dwindling interests in crafts alive”. Also exhibiting are Amrit Lal Sirohiya, a gemstone carver from Rajasthan and Naseer Ahmad Mir, a Kani shawl maker from Jammu and Kashmir. All the four handicrafts are Geographical Indication (GI) listed, which identifies each product with its place of origin to promote regional crafts. Listing sustainability, high-end material, and handmade, healthy products as future design trends, as compared to luxury and branding, the Fair’s vice president Nicolette Naumann iterated her belief in Indian products. The Fair, which concluded on February 12, has gone a long way in cementing India’s strengths as a mass manufacturer of handicrafts, which suit modern living traditions.
Microsoft has acquired GitHub in a major deal worth $7.5 billion. Not only has this put the open source community in a frenzy, but has also opened up different options for the developers and programmers who don’t want to share their project and code details with Microsoft. There is a history to this particular behavior of the open source community towards Microsoft. Firstly let’s reframe the question – what is the fear that’s causing the migration? Microsoft has this well known habit of acquiring promising open source projects and then slowly letting them die. They even had a name for the strategy: ‘Embrace, Extend, Extinguish’. That’s a key reason, open source developers dread Microsoft. The other factor for the fear is Microsoft’s history of using their patents to sue open source projects. These are some reasons the open source developers have traditionally avoided Microsoft and their products for a long time. The other side of the argument is that Microsoft is not the same company as it used to be in terms of their approach to open source mainly due to the change in their leadership team. Their present focus has also shifted from operating systems to the cloud, building Azure solutions, and promoting office 365. They have recently open sourced their scripting language powershell in an attempt to lure the open source developers under the organizational umbrella. In lesser words, Microsoft is trying for an image makeover and their GitHub deal might be yet another attempt to give the open source developers a bigger umbrella and more resources to develop production ready applications. Whatever’s the actual reason, it’s pretty clear what’s on Open Source developers’ minds. As per the latest tweet from GitLab, the rate of new repositories being added to GitLab has increased significantly since Monday – the 4th of June. The snapshot below shows the spike in posting new repositories in Gitlab. The trends of both Github and Gitlab have also spiked since the buying out news broke and that clearly shows that there is a huge spike in chatter regarding this. GitLab itself had started pushing a trend called #movingtogitlab and because of the incoming traffic reaching exceptionally high volume, their servers also crashed for a brief period of time. Gitlab had posted the video tutorial called “Migrating from GitHub to GitLab” on the 3rd of June which has already reached 22.5k views which clearly shows that there have been 20k people at least who have tried to export their GitHub project to GitLab. Having said that let’s take a look at the number of active users for both of these platforms. While GitHub has around 24 million active users, GitLab is at a mediocre 100k. So the exodus of a few thousand might not make a significant dent on GitHub’s user base. On one hand, the markets have rejoiced over the news of the Microsoft acquisition of Github boosting Microsoft’s stock prices well above 101 USD. On the other hand, the overall feeling towards this acquisition has been quite pessimistic among the developer community to say the least. This deal still has to go through regular auditing to check whether the norms for standard acquisition were followed and other details. The completion of this deal will happen only around December 2018 and the question remains whether Microsoft will be getting the same GitHub that they bought and what will this deal mean for Gitlab. The question on everyone’s mind right now is will Microsoft act as Github’s owner or steward? Will GitHub become the de facto leader for code sharing and pioneer in open source development? Or will other tools like GitLab, Sourceforge, Bitbucket take advantage of the situation and come to the forefront? The most interesting and positive thing to emerge from this scenario would be if Microsoft itself comes across as a leader in open source projects which would mean more funds and resources for useful and viable tech research and development and probably a brighter future for the tech world. Read Next Microsoft is going to acquire GitHub 10 years of GitHub Is Comet the new Github for Artificial Intelligence?