Tag Archives: goal

Graphene-based sieve turns seawater into drinking water

By Paul Rincon
Science editor, BBC News website
3 April 2017
 From the section Science & Environment 42 comments    Artwork: Graphene-based membranes hold huge promise in desalination
A UK-based team of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater.
The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water.
The promising graphene oxide sieve could be highly efficient at filtering salts, and will now be tested against existing desalination membranes.
It has previously been difficult to manufacture graphene-based barriers on an industrial scale.
Reporting their results in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from the University of Manchester, led by Dr Rahul Nair, show how they solved some of the challenges by using a chemical derivative called graphene oxide.
Isolated and characterised by a University of Manchester-led team in 2004, graphene comprises a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Its unusual properties, such as extraordinary tensile strength and electrical conductivity, have earmarked it as one of the most promising materials for future applications.
But it has been difficult to produce large quantities of single-layer graphene using existing methods, such as chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Current production routes are also quite costly.
On the other hand, said Dr Nair, "graphene oxide can be produced by simple oxidation in the lab".
He told BBC News: "As an ink or solution, we can compose it on a substrate or porous material. Then we can use it as a membrane.
"In terms of scalability and the cost of the material, graphene oxide has a potential advantage over single-layered graphene."

Of the single-layer graphene he added: "To make it permeable, you need to drill small holes in the membrane. But if the hole size is larger than one nanometre, the salts go through that hole. You have to make a membrane with a very uniform less-than-one-nanometre hole size to make it useful for desalination. It is a really challenging job."
Graphene oxide membranes have already proven their worth in sieving out small nanoparticles, organic molecules and even large salts. But until now, they couldn't be used to filter out common salts, which require even smaller sieves.
Previous work had shown that graphene oxide membranes became slightly swollen when immersed in water, allowing smaller salts to flow through the pores along with water molecules.
Now, Dr Nair and colleagues demonstrated that placing walls made of epoxy resin (a substance used in coatings and glues) on either side of the graphene oxide membrane was sufficient to stop the expansion.

Restricting the swelling in this way also allowed the scientists to tune the properties of the membrane, letting through less or more common salt for example.
When common salts are dissolved in water, they always form a "shell" of water molecules around the salt molecules.
This allows the tiny capillaries of the graphene-oxide membranes to block the salt from flowing through along with the water.
"Water molecules can go through individually, but sodium chloride cannot. It always needs the help of the water molecules. The size of the shell of water around the salt is larger than the channel size, so it cannot go through," said Dr Nair.

By contrast, water molecules flow exceptionally fast through the membrane barrier, which makes it ideal for use in desalination.
"When the capillary size is around one nanometre, which is very close to the size of the water molecule, those molecules form a nice interconnected arrangement like a train," Dr Nair explained.
"That makes the movement of water faster: if you push harder on one side, the molecules all move on the other side because of the hydrogen bonds between them. You can only get that situation if the channel size is very small."
By 2025 the UN expects that 14% of the world's population will encounter water scarcity. As the effects of climate change continue to reduce urban water supplies, wealthy modern countries are also investing in desalination technologies.
Current desalination plants around the world use polymer-based membranes.
"This is our first demonstration that we can control the spacing [of pores in the membrane] and that we can do desalination, which was not possible before. The next step is to compare this with the state-of-the-art material available on the market," said Dr Nair.
In a news and views article accompanying the study in Nature Nanotechnology, Ram Devanathan, from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, US, said more work needed to be done to produce graphene oxide membranes inexpensively at industrial scales.
He added that scientists also needed to demonstrate the durability of the membranes under prolonged contact with seawater and ensure the membrane was resistant to "fouling" by salts and biological material (which requires existing barriers to be periodically cleaned or replaced).
"The selective separation of water molecules from ions by physical restriction of interlayer spacing opens the door to the synthesis of inexpensive membranes for desalination," wrote Dr Devanathan.
"The ultimate goal is to create a filtration device that will produce potable water from seawater or wastewater with minimal energy input."
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Why Won’t God Heal Me?

Lessons about God’s healing through the Life of Paul

Written by Dan Lee on 14/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Sickness, Health, Healing, Prayer, Sovereignty
But He replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
There are many wonderful stories of healing in the Bible. Jesus healed many people of leprosy, blindness, lameness and other ailments. He even raised Lazarus from the dead!

No doubt you have also heard of God healing people today. God still hears our prayers for healing and has the power to heal and do all kinds of miracles.

So you may be wondering, “What about ME?” I, or someone I love, have been struggling with (name the disease) all these years. And I have prayed for healing, fasted, had people lay hands on me. So why have I not been cured?

I’m afraid that there is no simple, easy answer. But there are some principles we can learn from the Apostle Paul’s example. We hope you will find them encouraging.

1. God Has a Purpose
Earlier in this same chapter, we read: “Of course, I am now referring to the wonderful things I saw. One of Satan’s angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud.” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

It’s interesting that though Paul’s affliction is never specifically named, the PURPOSE for the affliction is given twice — at the beginning and at the end of verse 7: “so that I would not feel too proud.”

In the beginning of the chapter, we see that Paul had some amazing revelations — he was “caught up into the third heaven” and also “caught up into paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2-3). These experiences were so spectacular that he would have been tempted to boast about them, or to feel superior to those who had not had these experiences.

So God chose to humble Paul with a “thorn in the flesh.” It was not random, nor a whimsical act on God’s part. It had a very specific purpose.

2. God Can Use Anything
That same verse tells us that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was “a messenger of Satan.” How can that be? Was it from God or from Satan? The answer is it was both! Satan, of course, is set against God and His purposes and His people. Satan probably enjoyed tormenting Paul. But, just as at the cross, Satan’s evil plans were turned around 180 degrees to serve God’s purposes. Satan succeeded in harassing Paul, but the result was that God used it to bring humility in Paul’s life.

3. God’s Strength is Displayed
This principle is stated three times in these two verses, in different ways:

“But he (Christ) replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.”

God wants us to develop our gifts and talents and use them for His glory. But when weak, afflicted people achieve great things, it is clear that GOD is the one who did it and He receives the glory.

Our purpose in life is to glorify God — to show His power and His greatness. And even though our circumstances may be painful or uncomfortable for us, God wants to remind us that it’s the eternal things that matter. “Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

4. We Can be Content
“Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Look at that list — a lot more things than just sickness! And yet in all those things, Paul was content for the sake of Christ, because his ultimate goal in life was God’s glory.

So when you or those you love are battling sickness, by all means, pray. But if God chooses to let an affliction persist, look for what He wants to do IN you and THROUGH you – to be humbled yourself; to show God’s great strength in you; and ultimately to give glory to God.

Pray this week:

Lord, I don’t like this sickness or affliction, and I wish I didn’t have it. But I trust that You have a higher purpose for my life, just as You did the Apostle Paul. Lord, humble me and show Your great power in me through this affliction. Use everything in my life, good and bad, to bring You glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Building A business

There is a link between building a business and losing weight.. I wrote a blog yesterday about how effective is your plan, and realised that people starting a business and those attempting to lose weight faced some similar challenges. Namely discipline, action and goal setting.

Now goal setting is pretty obvious and was covered in yesterdays blog. Once you have set up goals then you need to take action and follow a plan, without action, you cannot expect success and your plan will failures

Taking the first step is probably the hardest, but once that is behind you, you need to be disciplined enough to set up a routine. Getting into a regular routine makes things much easier, be it writing a blog, contacting people or remembering to follow your diet plan.

I am a morning person so like to get up around 0500 and in fact my body clock wakes me up at this time, no matter what time I go to bed. For me this is a good time, before the rest of the family get up I have time to check email accounts, my calendar and financial accounts and carry out tasks such as drafting blogs. I am at the moment in a state of change as my summer job is coming to an end and I will be concentrating on building my online business.

Change can be difficult and I know I face challenges until I can settle into a new routine and there is always the temptation to step back into your old ways, which will result in failure. I find that using Google Calendar as a tool, it will send me reminders about when I need to publish blogs or contact people and this has become a vital tool to help me get back on track.

When I was last working online full time I set aside half my day for business from 0500 to midday, during this time I worked in my own office space upstairs and the family knew not to interrupt me. This worked well for me and I was able to publish blogs on a daily basis and keep in regular contact with potential customers. Now my circumstances are slightly different, I live in a smaller house and my office consists of a desk in a corner of a dining room in the centre of our house which is a thoroughfare for my family, which makes it harder to concentrate with the job in hand. The only saving grace is my wife works part time shifts and my son is at school , so I can still work weekday mornings between 0730 to midday.

The secret of building a business or losing weight is to take action on a daily basis, which takes you towards your goal

David Ogden
Healthy Weight Loss
Free Marketing Tools

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