Water

Snapshots of Proton Conduction Process in Water

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 5 December 2016

Scientists Capture Snapshots of the Proton Conduction Process in Water

The motion of protons (positively charged H atoms) in water is associated with water’s conduction of electricity and is involved in many important processes including vision, signaling in biological systems, photosynthesis and, the operation of fuel cells. Both artificial photosynthetic systems and fuel cells are of growing interest for clean energy technologies. However, the details of how protons move in water have remained elusive, and an enhanced understanding of the nature of this process is needed to improve the technologies that depend on proton transfer.

An international team of scientists, including a University of Pittsburgh professor and graduate student, has used spectroscopic methods to obtain snapshots of the process by which a proton is relayed from one water molecule to the next. The research is published in a paper in the December 2, 2016 issue of the journal Science.

Ted Corcovilos Develops Portable Device to Test for Lead in Water

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 20 January 2016

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials will re-examine the treatment used to limit lead in customers' water as levels approach a federal warning threshold and a drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., intensifies worries across the country. Lead can cause irreversible brain damage in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency say there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.

A team of local researchers includig PQI faculty Ted Corcovilos has developed a device to test for the presence of lead in water. This portable device is called Leadglow and is powered by two nine-volt batteries. Part of it was made on a 3D printer.