The test, published in the Lab on a Chip Journal, is an inexpensive microfluidic strip – comprising of tiny test tubes about the size of a human hair – capable of identifying bacteria found in urine samples and checking if they are resistant to common antibiotics. The team say that ‘Lab-on-a-Stick’ is easy to use and cheap to make, and the transparent microcapillary film is suitable for naked eye detection or measurement with portable, inexpensive equipment such as a smartphone camera.
The ChemEng365 campaign concluded at the end of May when Geoff’s term as president ended. But of course, all the amazing chemical engineering research and innovation still goes on. So, it seems only fitting to give you a research round-up on all things chemical and process engineering for the month of June – just in case you missed anything!
Injectable hydrogel could help wounds heal more quickly
I am regularly fascinated by the work of colleagues who focus on fundamental chemical engineering science. They deepen the understanding of our discipline and they can often help to explain the world that we live in.
An international group of researchers at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has caught my eye. They’ve used an X-ray laser to capture the first glimpse of two atoms forming a bond, and thus becoming a molecule.
The idea that we can actually observe a chemical bond at the point of formation was long thought to be impossible. So, I can’t stress enough the profound impact that this work could have on our understanding.
The research will help to clarify how chemical reactions take place, which in turn, can help us design reactions that generate energy, create new products and fertilise crops more efficiently.
The British have a reputation for being obsessed with the weather. It’s not uncommon to have what feels like four seasons in a day. And because of this, regardless of subsidies, solar energy hasn’t always been the first choice with the equivalent of just one-in-six days of sunshine each year,
But that doesn’t mean that solar energy isn’t important, especially if there are storage solutions on the horizon.
Around about now, a new solar farm in Hadley, Telford and Wrekin, will be plugged into the UK’s National Grid. It will have 15,000 solar panels ready to generate enough energy to power 800 homes.
This might be modest in comparison to the £1.4 billion (US$2.2 billion) Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert, USA, with its 170,000 panels capable of powering 140,000 homes – but it is still significant for a ‘cloudy’ country.
Yes, you did read the title correctly! Chemical engineering is such a big area that sometimes we need look no further than our colleagues to come up with the right solution.
Collaboration and multidisciplinary study have been the buzzwords of research for a long time. But sometimes we forget how broad the field of chemical engineering is and that sometimes it is enough just to learn from other chemical engineers.
One of the common gripes I hear is that major companies are not willing to recruit chemical engineers from different sectors.
Professional sportsmen and women are well aware of the dangers they face when they put their bodies on the line for the sports they love and excel at.
Of course, most are well rewarded, but the risks can be high. One type of injury that causes alarm is head injuries.
Contact sports like boxing and rugby often result in concussions leading to mandatory and forced absences for several weeks – and sometimes months for repeated concussions – before they can return to the sport.