Email Professor Michael Zaworotko at work in the University of Limerick’s Bernal Institute.Photo: Sean CurtinA new material developed at the University of Limerick could help solve the global water crisis by producing water from air.The material has favourable properties for absorbing and releasing water from the atmosphere with the potential to provide water in drought-hit regions.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Professor Michael Zaworotko, Research Professor at University of Limerick’s Bernal Institute, has developed the crystalline material after decades of research.It has been developed as a commercially viable nanomaterial by Molecule RND, an international incubator fund established at UL to work in collaboration with Prof Zaworotko.Molecule already has orders for the first available commercial units, with a prototype water generator delivering water with low purity without any filtration.Stating that the material could replace the silica traditionally used in dehumidification systems in buildings, Prof Zaworotko said that it would require substantially less energy to maintain air quality in buildings around the world,”The material could also capture water from the atmosphere in arid regions.“Even in zones of very low humidity, there is still some water in the atmosphere. This material could be applied to capture the water from the air, meaning you could potentially grow crops there.“Without water, there is no life. About one-third of the world’s population does not have access to pure water and this technology helps to solve that problem,” he added. Facebook University of Limerick ceases funding for off-campus Garda COVID-patrols after sanctioning students following massive street party TAGSeducationLimerick City and CountyNewsResearchUniversity of Limerick University of Limerick research identifies secrets of Fantasy Premier League success Decision on FIBA European Championships in Limerick to be made in May Ann & Steve Talk Stuff | Episode 44 | Immersive Software Engineering Gardai make arrests following chaotic student party near University of Limerick Print Linkedin Advertisement Previous articleGlobal Limerick Company Shortlisted for National AwardNext articleDrugs epidemic threatens to engulf Limerick City Meghan Brosnan NewsEducationLimerick invention could help solve global water crisisBy Meghan Brosnan – October 31, 2019 292 Twitter WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick nurse helping the fight against COVID-19, calls for round the clock garda patrols near University of Limerick following “out of control” student parties
In the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, astronomers have hunted for radio signals and ultra-short laser pulses. In a new paper, Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and Edwin Turner of Princeton University suggest a new technique for finding aliens: Look for their city lights. “Looking for alien cities would be a long shot, but wouldn’t require extra resources. And if we succeed, it would change our perception of our place in the universe,” said Loeb.As with other methods in the search for alien life, these rely on the assumption that aliens would use Earth-like technologies. This is reasonable because any intelligent life that evolved in the light from its nearest star is likely to have artificial illumination that switches on during the hours of darkness.How easy would it be to spot a city on a distant planet? Clearly, this light would have to be distinguished from the glare from the parent star. Loeb and Turner suggest looking at the change in light from an exoplanet as it moves around its star.As such a planet orbits, it goes through phases similar to those of the moon. When it’s in a dark phase, more artificial light from the night side would be visible from Earth than reflected light from the day side. So the total flux from a planet with city lighting would vary in a way that is measurably different from a planet that has no artificial lights.Spotting this tiny signal would require future generations of telescopes. However, the technique could be tested closer to home, using objects at the edge of our solar system.Loeb and Turner calculate that today’s best telescopes ought to be able to see the light generated by a Tokyo-sized metropolis at the distance of the Kuiper Belt — the region occupied by Pluto, Eris, and thousands of smaller icy bodies. So if there are any cities out there, we ought to be able to see them now. By looking, astronomers could hone the technique and be ready to apply it when the first Earth-size worlds are found around distant stars in our galaxy.“It’s very unlikely that there are alien cities on the edge of our solar system, but the principle of science is to find a method to check,” Turner said. “Before Galileo, it was conventional wisdom that heavier objects fall faster than light objects, but he tested the belief and found they actually fall at the same rate.As our technology has moved from radio and TV broadcasts to cable and fiber optics, we have become less detectable to aliens. If the same is true of extraterrestrial civilizations, then artificial lights might be the best way to spot them from afar.Loeb and Turner’s work has been submitted to the journal Astrobiology and is available online.The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, with headquarters in Cambridge, is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution, and fate of the universe.
UK-based engineering company Rolls-Royce, The Norwegian University of Technology Science (NTNU), research organisation SINTEF Ocean, and classification society DNV GL have joined forces to create an open source digital platform for use in the development of new ships.Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU), the parties would develop the platform which would allow the creation of the so called “digital twins”, which are digital copies of a real ship, including its systems, that synthesizes the information available about the ship in a digital world.This allows any aspect of an asset to be explored through a digital interface, creating a virtual test bench to assess the safety and performance of a vessel and its systems, both before its construction and through its lifecycle.“We are entering a new era with the accelerated uptake of more IT-technology in shipping. Digitalization of information flows will have a positive impact on safety and environmental performance,” Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO, DNV GL, said.“By creating ships and ship technology in a virtual environment new ideas and technology can be realized and tested in a shorter time frame. A platform like this could form the basis for future class services,” Eriksen added.The project partners intend to open the platform for use by other parties, with some core aspects built on an open source framework – enabling designers, equipment and system manufacturers, yards, ship owners, operators, research institutes and academia to work together to co-create and innovate together.The platform is also designed to serve as a model library for different ship concepts, where concepts can be made generally available or kept part of projects with limited access.Following the signing of the MoU, the project partners are now working to form a steering group that will define and govern the development of the core platform system and its deployment.