Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:36pm

Chemistry

Future Fuels

We may not think of it as much when gas is cheap, but there are many economic and environmental reasons to transition away from fossil fuels. See the biofuels reactor that RTI International researchers are using to create gasoline-like hydrocarbon fuels from plant material and the challenges of creating biofuels.

The Devil’s Tramping Ground

The Devil's Tramping Ground is a clearing in the Chatham County woods where nothing has grown for as long as anyone can remember. The mysterious lack of plants in the area has inspired the legend that the Devil comes to that spot in the night and paces in a circle while planning how to tear down the hearts of men, trampling all the plants in the process. Scientists have yet to determine exactly why nothing grows there, including soil scientist Rich Hayes, who has run several tests on the soil chemistry of the site.

Reinventing the Toilet

Some might call it the most important chair in the house but for 2.5 billion people around the world, access to safe and sanitary toilets isn’t an option. Researchers at RTI International are reinventing a toilet that is self-sustaining and doesn’t require plumbing or a regular water source, which will benefit the developing world.

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