- Moving on from a collection of more obscure technological advancements, this month we look at strides that have been taken to improve batteries.
By shifting the current design of lithium-ion to lithium-sulfur, batteries can hold up to four times more energy pound for pound. A sticky mixture of carbon nanotubes can make lithium-ion batteries both cheaper and greener. And this technology claims to increase the power density of a lithium-ion battery by an astonishing 7 times.
Now here are a series of ideas that could move us away from traditional lithium-based batteries. These researchers have developed a very high power and compact graphene-based supercapacitor. It appears that organic batteries are on the near horizon with this idea to use energy-dense sugar and then this one which uses naturally occurring quinones. This idea uses iron oxide nanoparticles to create a battery that charges much more rapidly. And finally, a volcano inspired this idea for a low-cost hydrogenase that could replace the expensive platinum catalysts used in today’s fuel cells.
- Do you have a child or sibling in your family who is trying to learn countries, capitals and/or the names of other key geographic features? If so, check out this website made by SheppardSoftware.com with tutorials and quizzes to help you learn your geography of all the world’s continents. Within each of their geography tutorial series are beginner, intermediate and expert level games to play and master.
- It’s football season which got me thinking about “GIS and helmets” (okay so I am a strange person I guess!) which was the Google search I ran this month. But the results I came across were less about football and more about biking – being an avid biker, I am totally fine with shifting my focus to bike helmets and general bike safety. In her Master’s Thesis, Erika Bocian used GIS to examine safe biking routes in Morris County, New Jersey. The results of her analysis might not be too shocking for those of you who live in locations with more urban sprawl than in dense communities as you find in Boulder, Colorado. Her research also delves into the psychology of ‘safety’ and shows how this is a rather flexible term.
- From the Midwest, we head south to Mississippi’s largest town, Jackson, to survey their online GIS resources. And well, I am sorry to report that there really are no online GIS resources for the City of Jackson. There is a GIS website which can be found here; and then you are able to request what look to be printed maps but not the raw data here? There is what looks to be an experimental web map but right now it only shows small business grants so it has limited applicability.
Brock Adam McCarty