Harnessing frictional energy

Imagine that every time you tapped out a message on your smartphone it would create electric power instead of sapping your phone’s battery. That scenario could one day be a reality, according to Vadym Mochalin, associate professor of chemistry at Missouri S&T. His research on MXenes was published in the February 2018 issue of the journal Nano Energy.

Discovered in 2011, MXenes make up one of the largest families of two-dimensional materials. And because they have high electrical conductivity and can take up electrons when in contact with polymers and other materials, they could be used to harvest wasted frictional energy — like the energy from muscle contractions while typing or walking.

This unusual combination of properties makes MXenes useful as components for triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), which turn muscle movements into electric power. The research suggests these advanced materials could be incorporated into mobile phones, handheld electronics, wearable devices and laptops, ultimately making them self-powering. They could also be used in biology, medicine, electronics and water purification.

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

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By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

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Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

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Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

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What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

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