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We report a roll-to-roll dry processing for making low cost and high performance electrodes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Currently, the electrodes for LIBs are made with a slurry casting procedure (wet method). The dry electrode fabrication is a three-step process including: step 1 of uniformly mixing electrode materials powders comprising an active material, a carbonaceous conductor and the soft polymer binder; step 2 of forming a free-standing, continuous electrode film by pressing the mixed powders together through the gap between two rolls of a roll-mill; and step 3 of roll-to-roll laminating the electrode film onto a substrate such as a current collector. Compared with the conventional wet slurry electrode manufacturing method, the dry manufactural procedure and infrastructure are simpler, the production cost is lower, and the process eliminates volatile organic compound emission and is more environmentally friendly, and the ability of making thick (>120µm) electrodes with high tap density results in high energy density of final energy storage device. A prototype LIBs of LiNi0.6Mn0.2Co0.2O2 (NMC622)/graphite also has 230 Wh/ kg energy density.
Local food systems are frequently touted as economic development strategies for rural communities. In this study, we estimated the local economic impacts of local compared with conventionally produced and marketed food in two regions of Missouri and one region in Nebraska. We found that local food systems generated substantial increases in value added for their local economies.
The design and implementation of microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems requires a sound understanding of the influence of film stress on both the ferroelectric and piezoelectric characteristics of thin films to be used for sensing and/or actuation. Experiments were conducted in which thin film samples of sol-gel derived PZT were subjected to applied biaxial stresses from -139 to 142 MPa. Films were characterized at known stress states (derived from known values of residual stress and large deflection plate theory) in terms of their ferroelectric polarization (saturated and remnant), dielectric constants, coercive field strengths, and tan δ. Results obtained indicate that domain wall motion in thin films contributes much less to the observed response than is typical for bulk PZT materials. Alternative mechanisms are proposed in an attempt to explain the discrepancies.
Agricultural systems are situated within social and political environments that have tremendous influence on how they operate. If agricultural systems are to be sustainable, it is critical to understand how they are influenced by social and political factors. An expert panel approach was used to identify and rank the importance of social and political factors on agricultural systems in the US and to provide some insights into their impacts, interactions and mechanisms of influence. The panel identified a wide range of social and political factors that affect agricultural systems. The factors were divided into three categories: internal social factors, external social factors and political factors. Factors from each of the three categories were highly ranked, indicating that no single category dominated the others. Although there were contrasting views about the importance of some factors, there was strong consensus about many of them. Globalization and low margins that require increased scale and efficiency were identified as the two most important factors affecting agricultural systems. Several newly emerging factors were identified as well as factors needing further research. A comprehensive understanding of these factors is imperative to help guide scientific research so that beneficial discoveries are accepted and used, and to ensure that policy decisions enhance the future sustainability of agricultural production.
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