Science & Technology Current Affairs - 2019

Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.

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A new Catalyst: To Convert Carbon Dioxide into Natural Gas

The Engineers at the Stanford University have developed a new catalyst that helps to turn carbon dioxide from cars into fuels like propane or natural gas.

About the Research

Catalysts induce chemical reactions without being used up in the reaction. In this new research scientists have combined ruthenium and iron oxide nano particles to form the new catalyst. The ruthenium nuggets sit in the core of the catalyst surrounded by an outer sheath of iron. This arrangement activates the hydrocarbon formation from Carbon-Dioxide.

Earlier methods

The earlier methods invented so far have only produced the simplest hydrocarbon methane from effluents of vehicles. This method produces propane and other higher hydro carbons including natural gas. Also, earlier methods involve two steps of processes. They first reduce carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and then the second step involves combining carbon monoxide and hydrogen to form hydrocarbons

Ruthenium

It is a transition element belonging to platinum group of elements. It is gaining importance in the recent years after scientists discovered its electrical applications in contacts and thin film resistors. Since then the annual production of ruthenium from the platinum ores have increased from 19 tons in 2009 to 35.5 tons in 2017.

Fire Resistant Lithium-Ion Batteries

The scientists at John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, US, have developed Lithium-Ion batteries that can operate under extreme conditions like submersion, ballistic impact, cutting and heat. In simple lay man terms, they can operate even under fire!

Lithium-Ion Batteries

The Lithium-Ion batteries that are commonly used in every household item starting from smartphones are susceptible to catastrophic fire and explosion. Because of this, many phones were banned from airlines and ships. The US Navy had prohibited the use of e-cigarettes on ships and submarines because of the danger the batteries possessed.

The Technology behind the battery

The scientists have used water-in-salt and water-in-bisalt electrolytes in the batteries. These electrolytes were incorporated in a polymer matrix to reduce water activity and elevate energy capabilities of the battery. This gives the batteries higher energies to withstand heat and pressure.