Papyrus and electrostatic water condensation

Sunny

<p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Dear readers, this is the last topic of three articles about electrostatic fields. In the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blogionik.org/strategies-water-condensation-collection/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">first one</a>&nbsp;I wrote about strategies for&nbsp;water condensation, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blogionik.org/natural-electrostatic-fields/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">second one</a>&nbsp;was about natural electrostatic fields on plants. This article is about my own research where I investigated, if plants can actually condensate atmospheric water vapour on the surface of their leaves by using electrostatic charging.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 24.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Papyrus</h3><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Mainly because of its extraordinary shape I chose&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; max-width: 100%;">Cyperus papyrus L</em>. as a role model. It is a tropical freshwater plant growing in swamps largely restricted to areas of eastern and central Africa [Sculthorpe, 1967]. The stems are growing up to 5 m high and are composed of several hundred rays, each of which extends into 3-5 flattened bracteoles [Raynal, 1971]. When touched, the bracteoles seem quite rough, which made me think that this could already be attributed to surface charging caused by friction (like in the case of an electrostatic duster made of plastic that you may know). The mentioned mechanism and the surface structure had to be investigated in order to confirm the hypothesis&nbsp;that papyrus plants can condensate water vapour via electrostatics.</p><p><br/></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.blogionik.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/DSC_0578-201x300.jpg" alt="DSC_0578"/></p><p><br/></p><h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 24.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Hypothesis</h3><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">My hypothesis was that such phenomenon could be used in the plant’s strategy to create a water layer on the surface of the bracteoles to reduce the water pressure gradient with the surrounding air. This would&nbsp;prevent early stomatal closure with reduced photosynthesis rate. Another advantage for the plant could be that it regulates the temperature via the cooling effect of the latent heat during water evaporation at daytime.</p><h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 24.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Investigation</h3><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">The first part of my research was dedicated to analyse the structure of the bracteoles. Fluorescent microscopy illustrates different tissues and materials that are forming bracteoles and rays. Fig. 2&nbsp;represents a cross-section of a ray where a layer of chloroplast (emitting red light) is placed directly under the cuticule (outer layer). Blue emission refers to lignified tissues, in this case the epidermis.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.blogionik.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/rayCS2-1024x273.jpg" alt="rayCS2" width="546" height="145" style="width: 546px; height: 145px;"/></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Electrostatic charge measurements were conducted by establishing an experimental set-up as shown in Fig. 3. The plant was placed between two metal plates, one serving as a ground and the other one was collecting charges from the plant. Both electrodes (plates) were connected to a PC with a Matlab software to collect the results. From the values of collected surface charge, it is evident that the charges are small, normally of some nanocoulombs (nC). Plants themselves also do not carry a charge significantly different than the surrounding air even though it can vary in polarity.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: center;"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><img src="http://www.blogionik.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/setup-300x225.jpg" alt="setup"/></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">In addition to papyrus, ostrich feathers and plastic dusters were included in this research for comparison. It was observed in all three examples that electrostatic charging by rotating or shaking the feathers or duster does not induce much charge (100-200 nC).</span></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></span></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: center;"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><img src="http://www.blogionik.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/duster-1024x343.png" alt="duster" width="514" height="112" style="width: 514px; height: 112px;"/></span></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></span></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Plant polarization was proven in the vicinity of the Van der Graaf generator with a maximal voltage of 275 kV where&nbsp;</span><em style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; max-width: 100%; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Cyperus papyrus</em><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;experienced a transient charge transfer. The attraction force can be seen in Fig. 5&nbsp;where individual bracteoles orientated towards the sphere.</span></span></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"></p><h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 24.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Simulation</h3><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Simulations of plant electrostatics were conducted by using the software ANSYS<span style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; position: relative; font-size: 13.5px; line-height: 0; vertical-align: baseline; top: -0.5em; max-width: 100%;">®</span>. The geometries of Papyrus and a reference plant were adapted to a certain degree in order to understand the influence of the geometry to charge distribution.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.blogionik.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/275kV-1024x242.jpg" alt="275kV" width="1" height="1" style="width: 1px; height: 1px;"/></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Collected charges were small in both cases of applied voltages (100 V and 275 kV). The charge polarity occurred as seen in Fig. 6. Plants are not completely isolative, therefore some charges concentrate on the surface (blue colour). The charge of opposite polarity is induced on the lower side (red colour). Rays of papyrus plant are much thinner and such effect is not so obvious. In case of a conductive material, there would not be any charge collection.</p><h3 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 24.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Conclusion</h3><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">In this research, electrostatic charging of&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; max-width: 100%;">Cyperus papyrus</em>&nbsp;was studied in order to reveal its possible mechanism for water condensation. Analysis of plant physiology shows structural features that enable building-up of electrostatic charge. Charge measurements proved that plants can get statically charged on a nanocoulomb level like other objects applicable for their electrostatics (dusters). Plants carry approximately the same amount of charge as the surrounding air only with the opposite polarity because they are grounded. This is a result of a polarization effect on plants caused by the vicinity of a charged object.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Nevertheless, the principal hypothesis of water condensation due to electrostatics on the papyrus plant is disconfirmed. It is true that charged nuclei in the atmosphere serve as an initial condition for water precipitation but the amount of charge for a much smaller particle size is in coulomb range. Electrostatics on the ground is measured on a nano-scale which cannot provide sufficient charge for water molecules to condense on a much bigger surface. Additionally, no structural features on bracteoles that would facilitate collection of water condensation were found.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">To conclude,&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; max-width: 100%;">Cyperus papyrus</em>&nbsp;is truly an interesting plant. Although the hypothesis of this particular research project could be disconfirmed, the plant possesses other features worth of biomimetic interest. It could provide us with ideas for efficient use of solar light and temperature regulation based on its structure and thermodynamical laws but further research is definitely needed.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">References:</p><ul style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; padding: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 25px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" class=" list-paddingleft-2"><li><p>[1] C. Sculthorpe, 1967, The biology of aquatic vascular plants, St. Martin’s Press, Arnold, London</p></li><li><p>[2] J. Raynal, 1971, Quelques notes morphologiques sur le cyperceae, Mitteilungen aus der botanischen Staatsammlung, München 10, 589-603</p></li><li><p>[3] A. Soklic, 2014, Electrostatic field of Cyperus papyrus in relation to water condensation, Master thesis – Bionik/ Biomimetics in Energy Systems</p></li></ul><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Repost from&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></span><a href="https://blogionik.org/blog/2016/08/11/papyrus-electrostatic-water-condensation/#comments" style="font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(154, 154, 154); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Keine Kommentare</a></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"></span></span></span><br/></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></span></span></span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></span></span></span><br/></p><p><br/></p>...

2020-10-03
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Theme session: “Energy storage”

Sunny

<p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Dear readers, we are starting a new theme session, which will be dedicated to &nbsp;“energy storage”. Our focus will be on presenting different strategies in living organisms that nature developed in order to store energy. Types of energy, their purpose and working mechanisms are topics&nbsp;you can expect to read about in the next weeks, based on some interesting examples.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Firstly, I will resume some very basic physical laws about energy. Energy is the property of an object to perform work or to heat it. It can be transformed from one form to another but cannot be created or destroyed. The international unit is the Joule (J). Common forms are mechanical, potential, elastic, chemical, radiant and thermal energy.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 31.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;">Why is energy needed?</strong></h2><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Energy &nbsp;enables natural processes to run on different levels – from atomic to universal scale.&nbsp;Living organisms require energy principally to stay alive and they get it by taking up food/ nutrients. The whole civilization gets the energy it needs from sources like fossil fuels, nuclear fuel or renewable energy. Earth’s climatic and ecological processes are driven by the radiant energy received from the sun and the geothermal energy from the Earth’s interior.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Life would be easy, if the energy we need would continuously be available. Since this is not the case, some kind of energy storage is required. This means that the energy is captured in different forms for a later use. Some forms provide short-term storage while others can endure for much longer. And exactly these facts are the point of interest for Biomimetics. How nature deals with the challenge of energy storage&nbsp;and what are possible inspirations for&nbsp;technological development.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 31.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;">Energy rich molecules</strong></h2><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">For many animals, finding food continuously is not possible, therefore the only strategy (besides storing the food itself) is to eat whenever the food is available and store is as fat inside the body. Hibernating animals must enlarge their adipose tissue before winter in order to survive without eating. Similarly, green photosynthetic plants growing in hot regions, or those who drop their leaves and become dormant, also need to have stored food to maintain their lifecycle. Without some nutrient reserves inside, a leafless plant would not even be able to produce new leaves and would simply die.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Humans and animals store energy mainly as fat in adipose tissues within the body. Energy from fats (triglycerides) is obtained by breaking the&nbsp;covalent bonds during the degradation process where many ATP molecules are formed (ATP = adenosine triphosphate, a molecule responsible for intracellular energy transfer). A smaller amount is stored as glucose and glycogen in blood, muscles and livers but that is only enough for a few hours of physical activity. Plants, on the other hand, store starch instead. Why this difference? There are two main reasons – mobility and stability. The energy storing molecule should not be too heavy and must be stable for a longer period within the plant/ animal’s body. Because animals are moving, is fat a perfect storage tissue. One unit of fat stores much more energy than one unit of carbohydrate or protein [1]. Plants do not move so weight saving is not a necessity. The heavier starch molecule is more stable than the lighter fat molecule, which enable the plants to store starch over years or decades. Fat would become moldy if exposed to oxygen, so it is useless for plants. Well, not completely useless – seeds contain quite some quantities of oils but they are relatively small compared to the plant.</p><h2 style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin: 10px 0px; font-family: Merriweather, serif; font-weight: 400; line-height: 40px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-rendering: optimizelegibility; font-size: 31.5px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><strong style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;">Mechanical energy</strong></h2><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">As mentioned before, with the work of muscles fuelled by food, animals can move around. But this is not the only way. Nature developed different systems in order to exploit energy transfer for several purposes – jumping, accelerating, feeding, etc. Maybe the most known example is a hopping kangaroo, which conserves energy by using elastic mechanism in its tendons. When a force is applied to a tendon/ string, it bends and stores energy in the form of elastic strain energy. And when it recoils after the force has been released, this energy is released as well. Therefore, a kangaroo is more efficient by jumping as running, since it consumes less energy that way.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Skeletal systems with tendons can act as power amplifiers, too, by storing energy gradually and releasing it rapidly. The process of amplification begins when a muscle contracts steadily, storing elastic strain energy in the tendon. Once the energy is completely stored, the tendon releases it in a very short time span, which increases the power significantly. Nice examples are flees – being able to leap a distance of some 50 times their body length. Or a click beetle, jumping up high even without legs. Further examples are chameleon’s tongue, frog’s legs…..all using stored elastic energy for acceleration.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">But not to forget plants! I mentioned in the previous section that plants do not move in the sense of changing locations. Plants themselves not, but their seeds do. It is impressive to investigate all kinds of seed spreading techniques that nature developed, but my focus is more on using the stored energy for this purpose. One of them will be presented in the following weeks – the popping see pods. They use their internal pressure in order to contract and generate tension required for the explosion. But more about that soon.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Energy storage is a wide topic.&nbsp;In the upcoming&nbsp;articles we hope to give you an insight into naturals mechanisms which you may not know so far. Therefore, follow us on BlogIONIK!</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">References:</p><ul style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; padding: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 25px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" class=" list-paddingleft-2"><li><p>[1]&nbsp;<a href="https://www.med.upenn.edu/biocbiop/faculty/vanderkooi/chap7-9.pdf" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(0, 140, 35); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Making and storing fat and retrieving it to supply energy</a></p></li><li><p>Photos:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/A-K-photography-1420232784860308/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(0, 140, 35); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">A K Photography</a></p></li></ul><p><br/></p><p>Repost from&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="https://blogionik.org/blog/2017/04/13/theme-session-energy-storage/#comments" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(154, 154, 154); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Keine Kommentare</a></p><p><br/></p>...

2020-10-03
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Where to study Biomimetics in Europe?

Sunny

<p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Dear readers.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Before we start our summer break, we’d like to write a short update on our successful article series ‚Where to study Biomimetics in Europe‘. In case you have not yet read the first two parts, here are the links to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blogionik.org/study-biomimetics-europe/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Part 1</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blogionik.org/part-2-study-biomimetics-europe/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Part 2</a>. We have the feeling, our series is a unique collection of possibilities to study Biomimetics in Europe and therefore we’d like to keep you updated on new courses, we found out about. And additionally, we think it’s important to inform about changes and new information about some courses – for example the Master program ‚Bionik/ Biomimetics in Energy Systems‘ in Villach, which Jan wrote about two weeks ago (find link&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blogionik.org/the-current-state-of-biomimetics-in-austria/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">here</a>).</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Today though, we are presenting three (at least to us) new opportunities to study Biomimetics in Europe:</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">In Kufstein/ Tirol (Austria) you can study&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fh-kufstein.ac.at/Studieren/Post-Graduate-Weiterbildung/Bio-Inspired-Engineering" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Bio Inspired Engineering</a>&nbsp;at the University of Applied Sciences. The course is for post-graduates, meaning a Bachelor degree in technical or natural sciences and at least three years of working experience are required for admission. Additionally you need an English certificate, because the course is taught in English (find all details on the website). Besides ‚pure‘ Biomimetics, the Master program focuses on teaching technical principles to apply Biomimetics, biology basics for engineers and of course a detailed research project: the Master thesis. The course is brand new and starts with its first students in November 2017. It is a great opportunity for students of middle Europe who are interested in Biomimetics and a great step forward for the Biomimetics community in Austria. You can still apply until the end of October – so maybe this would be interesting for you?</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">At the University of Pisa (Italy) the Master program&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bionicsengineering.it/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Bionics Engineering</a>&nbsp;is running since 2015. It is a two years study course as a joint project of the University of Pisa (UNIPI) and the Scoula Superiore Sant‘ Anna (SSSA) in Pisa. It runs under the heading of ‚Biomedical engineering‘ – so robotics and Biomimetics in the medical field are a major focus here. The program consist of many different modules – some are compulsory and some elective – in the first year, for example ‚Biomechanics of human motion‘, ‚Bioinspired computational methods‘ or ‚Electronics for bionics engineering‘. In the second year of the program, you can choose between the curriculum ‚Neural engineering‘ or the curriculum ‚Biorobotics‘ to gain more specific know-how. Besides this interesting selection of modules, I guess the Tuscany is not the worst place to spend a few years of your life.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">From Austria and Italy, let’s take a look at Great Britain – or more specifically the University of Bristol in southern England. Here, no ‚pure‘ Biomimetics course exists, but two Master programs have Biomimetics as an optional focus in the curriculum. The first one is the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/2017/eng/msc-adv-composites/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">MSc Advanced Composites,&nbsp;</a>running for one year and starting in September. It has the optional unit to focus on ‚Nature’s Materials: Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Sustainability‘. The course is based on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bristol.ac.uk/composites/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science</a>&nbsp;and has many industrial contacts – so this is really something for students who want to work in the applied sciences. To be accepted in this course, you need an upper second-class honours degree (or an equivalent) in an engineering discipline.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">A second interesting Master program at the University of Bristol is the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bris.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/2017/eng/msc-robotics/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">MSc Robotics&nbsp;</a>with courses on ‚Bio-inspired artificial intelligence‘, ‚Biomechanics‘ or ‚Advanced techniques in multidisciplinary design‘. Like the MSc Advances Composites you can fulfill the program in one year full-time, but here you also have the possibility to study part-time for two years. As the name says, focus of the program are robotic systems and the course is situated at the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.brl.ac.uk/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); max-width: 100%; display: inline-block; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 4px; position: relative; padding: 0px 5px; line-height: 26px; background-color: rgb(176, 109, 7); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Bristol Robotics Laboratory</a>. Also here you need an upper second-class honours degree (or an equivalent) in engineering or alternatively in physics, mathematics or a related subject. Also students from other disciplines can be considered – just check out the website and get in touch with the program staff.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">So, I think those three programs with a direct or optional link to Biomimetics are especially interesting for undergraduates of engineering disciplines who did already work and would like to get even more qualified with an additional degree.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Do you maybe already have some experiences with some of the mentioned courses?</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Or did our post maybe lead you to applying for one of them and you will start to study one of the Master courses this year? We would be highly interested in hearing your experiences!</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Of course we are always happy to get some hints to other options to study Biomimetics in Europe, we did not yet blog about. Part 4 is hopefully coming soon and if you have any suggestions for this article series, please do not hesitate to contact us via mail, a comment or facebook.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Thank you very much!</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Repost from&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="https://blogionik.org/blog/2017/08/02/part-3-study-biomimetics-europe/#comments" style="font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; color: rgb(154, 154, 154); text-decoration-line: none !important; transition: none 0s ease 0s !important; transform: none !important;">Keine Kommentare</a>.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 18px; line-height: 2; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Lato, Helvetica, sans-serif; white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><br/></p>...

2020-10-03
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