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Progress in Various Fields April 8, 2023

Posted by stuffilikenet in Geek Stuff, Mutants, Science, Uncategorized.
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In battery technology, the geeks and boffins at the Argonne National Laboratory have made a potentially HUGE breakthrough in energy density. Standard lithium batteries use fewer oxygen atoms to combine with lithium and produce the juice; this new battery fourples (4x–do I have to explain simple Englishification of multiples?) the number of atoms of oxygen, snatching them out of the air. It’s a big deal because some previous implementations of this stoichiometry took bottled O2 to work, and that’s a non-starter for portable apps, like EV batteries (or your home solar backups).

It’s a new solid electrolyte composed of  a ceramic polymer material made from relatively inexpensive elements in nanoparticle form that enables these chemical reactions. The geeks and boffins expect to eventually hit an energy density of 1200 watt-hours per kilogram, which is much denser than my home solar array’s batteries. I could keep my backup in a kitchen cabinet with that much storage.

Next in the exciting world of stuff nobody knows about:

In the world of genetics, geeks and boffins have found the first-ever discovery of obligate chimerism: males of the yellow crazy ants species have two independent sets of DNA, making said ants an exceptionally effective invasive species.

Homework: H. Darras et al, Obligate chimerism in male yellow crazy ants, Science (2023).

More electronics news you can’t use (but somebody will, and probably make a packet):

geeks and boffins (the guys who make all the cool stuff you use) have created a supercapacitor something like thirty times the capacity of other supercapacitors, which is saying something. They did so by manufacturing it like an FET, but layering molybdenum disulfide and graphene in the place of more conventional materials. Now you can put enormous power into a tiny space, making your integrated circuits even more capable than they already are. The technique can be scaled up to power big stuff too.

Homework: Vinod Panwar et al, Gate Field Induced Extraordinary Energy Storage in MoS2-Graphene-Based Ultramicro-Electrochemical Capacitor, ACS Energy Letters (2023).