Technologies developed in the laboratory to destroy wastes without hazardous emissions are being applied in a pilot-scale plant under construction at the Army's Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas. There, up to 80 pounds per hour of obsolete munitions, some of which date from World War II, are slurried in water to be destroyed in a supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) system. The SCWO system pressurizes and heats the slurry, which fuels an oxidation reaction. The wastes are destroyed within seconds, producing such innocuous end products as carbon dioxide, water, and salts. At the heart of the new system is a novel reactor design intended to overcome a potential complication. Treating smoke and dye munitions can create effluent of up to 35% salt. The salt is insoluble under these conditions (700C and 4,000 psi) and can plug the reactor. Sandia demonstrated a design that inhibits salt deposits by injecting pure water through small pores in an inner liner to form a protective boundary. Known as the transpiring wall reactor, this design was developed by Aerojet GenCorp for cooling and fluid management in missile and rocket applications. For more information, e-mail Nancy Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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