All posts by Terezakis

$65

Every once in a while something happens where I have little to no sympathy.   Good thing the New York Times article (below) chose not to include a comments section. There is a part of me that has a difficult time understanding how safeguards to protect investments in critical research (and money!) were not put in place.   But then again, there was yet another oopsie-level event at the NSA so anything

Regardless, I couldn’t help but read the article and empathize with the loss of  samples collected under the most extreme of conditions.

 Martin Sharp, the director of the Canadian Ice Core Archive, examining an ice core. A freezer storing part of the archive failed this month. Ice from the Canadian Arctic has completely melted, leaving puddles of water in its place and scientists devastated. O.K., this is what actually happened: Ice cores, millennia-old ice samples extracted by scientists from locations across the Canadian Arctic, melted because of a freezer malfunction in a lab at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The loss of these ice cores could hinder scientific research into how changes in the atmosphere have shaped Earth’s climate history, and how they could affect its future. On April 2, the temperature of a storage freezer in the Canadian Ice Core Archive rose to about 100 degrees — some part of the cooling system failed, “then tried to get itself back into action and in the process, piped hot air back into the room,” according to Martin Sharp, the director of the archive. The freezer became so hot that it tripped the fire alarm, Dr. Sharp said, and partially or fully melted 180 ice cores collected by government scientists since the mid-1970s from the snowy expanse of the Canadian Arctic.
Martin Sharp, the director of the Canadian Ice Core Archive, examining an ice core. A freezer storing part of the archive failed this month. Ice from the Canadian Arctic has completely melted, leaving puddles of water in its place and scientists devastated. O.K., this is what actually happened: Ice cores, millennia-old ice samples extracted by scientists from locations across the Canadian Arctic, melted because of a freezer malfunction in a lab at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The loss of these ice cores could hinder scientific research into how changes in the atmosphere have shaped Earth’s climate history, and how they could affect its future. On April 2, the temperature of a storage freezer in the Canadian Ice Core Archive rose to about 100 degrees — some part of the cooling system failed, “then tried to get itself back into action and in the process, piped hot air back into the room,” according to Martin Sharp, the director of the archive. The freezer became so hot that it tripped the fire alarm, Dr. Sharp said, and partially or fully melted 180 ice cores collected by government scientists since the mid-1970s from the snowy expanse of the Canadian Arctic.”
Here is a $65 solution from Amazon, with free shipping! A redundant system of even five of these in place would have probably still cost less than the research grade Fisher solution below:
Here’s a laboratory grade solution (if you have something really important to be concerned about):
Fisher Scientific research-level temperature alarm system
But if you want to save money, have a tech or two on hand, or access to an engineering school, or the creative and committed minds at NYU’s ITP, you could build your own monitor using off the shelf, easily accessible parts to send alerts to cell phones or land lines:
DIY microntroller projects to send alert by cellphone at predefined temperature settings.

River Watch

GreenWorld’s first expedition to the River Project’s amazing Wet Lab on scenic Pier 40!

Thanks to Nina Hitchings (River Project’s Wetlab Manager and Head of Interns) we learned a little about the waters of the Hudson River and some of the surprising forms of life which it supports.   While we could have learned a lot more, this was a first visit for all of us but for some, not the last.  Knowing that the Billion Oyster Project is nearby, that world-famous Striped Bass have returned along with onerous-sounding, visually challenging Oyster Toadfish, delicate Pipefish (and their close relation, the seahorse), as part of the 200 different types of fish that make the Hudson River their home, gave us new appreciation and insight into the long-term positive effects afforded by the Clean Water Act of 1972.

The River Project
The River Project at pier 40, NYC

Hydrogen fueled transportation

Humans have burned wood, yak chips, fat from mammals, coal, oil, and the by-product from decomposing plant and animal matter (methane or “Natural Gas”) to scare away animals, provide light, cook food, heat homes, and eventually to power automobiles and industry.  The by-products from combustion are usually a poisonous mixture containing different types of gases, particles, and sometimes unburned fuel.

One exception to poisonous combustion by-products is the reaction produced when Hydrogen and Oxygen are burned together.  The by-product from these two gases is water vapor (H2O).  Jewelers have been using torches powered by Hydrogen and Oxygen for many years.  Hydrogen as a fuel is not without problem technologies and inefficiencies.  But Hydrogen has distinct advantages as a source of power.   Some of these are that the reaction does not produce poison during operation, storage, or during the process of electrolysis (where water is separated into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas).

This post is a quick introduction to Hydrogen fueled vehicles.

 

California's Hydrogen Transportation Initiatives This page last reviewed July 15, 2016 As zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), hydrogen fuel cells play a significant role in reducing California's greenhouse gas and smog emissions. The California Air Resources Board's most recent Advanced Clean Cars Program builds upon the ZEV Regulation in place since 1990, and rapidly increases numbers of ZEV technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric vehicles. By mid-century, 87% of cars on the road will need to be full ZEVs. This will place California on a path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, a goal adopted by many nations and believed necessary to stabilize climate temperature. What's New 2016 Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development New Webpage with Information About ARB's Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessments & CHIT Tool Governor Signs AB 8 - Extending programs aimed at reducing auto emissions until 2024, including a provision to fund at least 100 hydrogen stations with a commitment of up to $20 million per year. Hydrogen Stations AB 8 Annual Evaluations By the end of 2017, California is expected to have 50 hydrogen fueling stations open to the public. The California Fuel Cell Partnership's (CaFCP) hydrogen fueling station map provides details and status of all hydrogen fueling stations in the State. Their California Road Map describes the infrastructure that will be needed to successfully launch the commercial fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) market. Under AB 8, ARB annually reports on an evaluation of the deployment of Fuel Cell EVs and hydrogen fueling stations in CA. In order to identify areas of greatest need for fueling infrastructure, ARB has developed the CA Hydrogen Infrastructure Tool (CHIT).