By Elifsu Gencer
Although fresh water is essential for life, it remains a limited resource threatened by physical, chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 30% of the global population lack access to drinkable water at home, and 60% lack safely managed sanitation. Moreover, the WHO estimates that by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Industrial processes have especially exacerbated water scarcity issues by generating wastewater (water that has been contaminated by human use) and discharging large concentrations of toxic pollutants into groundwater, the water found in cracks and spaces beneath Earth’s surface and which serves as a valuable drinking source for millions around the world. Accordingly, wastewater and groundwater remediation processes are growing increasingly important, such as air sparging to volatilize contaminants and the pump-and-treat method that involves pumping subsurface contaminated water for above-ground treatment. These processes have been continuously innovated to enhance contaminant removal efficiencies, decrease costs, and increase environmental soundness. In particular, the method of using zero-valent iron (ZVI) has attracted considerable attention in recent years.
By Elifsu Gencer
Most of us remember the colors of the rainbow with the acronym “ROYGBIV,” and we all have one of the most famous physicists to thank for this mnemonic. That’s right, Sir Isaac Newton—best known for his theory of gravity, three Laws of Motion, and invention of calculus—played a crucial role in developing what we know today as the color wheel.
By Boyuan Chen
The lotus is associated with the purity of mind and soul in many religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, for its ability to arise from muddy ponds and yet remain unstained. Even in Latin, the name “lotus” comes from the participle for “washed,” in recognition of its forever-clean appearance. But why is this the case? What is the scientific basis for this fascinating phenomenon?