Oil, Water and Wildlife: the Gulf of Mexico Disaster and Related Environmental Issues
July 23, 2010
John W. Bickham, Director of the Center for the Environment, Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
The BP Macondo oil field spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest oil spill in US history and has the potential to impact sea turtle and marine mammal populations, among others. This presentation will review the genotoxic effects of oil exposure in wildlife and discuss the potential for an oil spill to impact wildlife populations. Whereas some aspects of a spill are predictable, each spill is different because oils are highly variable as are the environments in which they occur. I will discuss what has been learned from previous spills including the Exxon Valdez and the soviet oil legacy in Azerbaijan, and potential dangers of offshore oil development in the Arctic. Related Purdue University research efforts in oil-spill related engineering and science also will be highlighted.
- John Bickham
July 21, 2016
The recent recall of hoverboards because of exploding lithium-ion batteries highlights the danger of overheating batteries. Amy Marconnet, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, can speak about the effects of excessive heating in batteries. Marconnet (pronounced mar-co-nay) founded the Marconnet Thermal and Energy Conversion Lab, where researchers are dissecting the batteries and testing materials making up electrodes and a critical component called a separator. (A video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCTMA8sxZO0) Battery failures have been reported in products ranging from commercial airliners and laptops to hoverboards and cellphones. Chemical reactions in the batteries generate heat while discharging and charging. The separator is a layer of material between the positive and negative electrodes. When it fails due to high heat, the battery short-circuits and could explode.Read Full Story