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PIB 17th April

Contents

  1. Organic Pseudocapacitor: Low-cost energy storage solution
  2. CeNS’s Gold Nanostructure Substrate
  3. Grant of Consular Services, Extended suspension of Existing Visas

ORGANIC PSEUDOCAPACITOR: LOW-COST ENERGY STORAGE SOLUTION

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

Scientists have developed a stable material for pseudocapacitors or supercapacitors which store electrical energy by electron charge transfer.

The material can offer a low-cost scalable energy storage solution as an alternative to batteries.

Details

  • The team has developed the pseudocapacitive material, a hybrid xerogel structure (a solid formed from a gel by drying with unhindered shrinkage), for the very first time.
  • Although reported in the literature as alternatives to conventional pseudocapacitors, they lack sufficient cycling stability to replace batteries in the consumer market.
  • The scientists say that it can promote future research in the field of organic pseudocapacitors and provide an effective strategy to facilitate progress towards self-sustaining energy future.

What are Pseudocapacitors?

Basic schematics for an (a) all carbon EDLC (left), (b) a ...
  • Pseudocapacitors store electrical energy faradaically by electron charge transfer between electrode and electrolyte. This is accomplished through electrosorption, reduction-oxidation reactions (redox reactions), and intercalation processes, termed pseudocapacitance.
  • Pseudocapacitance and double-layer capacitance add up to a common inseparable capacitance value of a supercapacitor.
  • However, they can be effective with very different parts of the total capacitance value depending on the design of the electrodes.
Pseudocapacitor - Wikipedia

What is a Supercapacitor?

  • A supercapacitor (SC), also called an ultracapacitor, is a high-capacity capacitor with a capacitance value much higher than other capacitors, but with lower voltage limits, that bridges the gap between electrolytic capacitors and rechargeable batteries.
  • It typically stores 10 to 100 times more energy per unit volume or mass than electrolytic capacitors, can accept and deliver charge much faster than batteries, and tolerates many more charge and discharge cycles than rechargeable batteries.
  • Supercapacitors are used in applications requiring many rapid charge/discharge cycles, rather than long term compact energy storage.

CENS’S GOLD NANOSTRUCTURE SUBSTRATE

 Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

  • Scientists have developed a substrate (the surface or material on which an organism lives, grows) for optical sensing applications using a gold nanostructure.
  • Such substrates are sensitive to change in the refractive index of the surrounding medium and can detect biologically important molecules and chemicals in the laboratory.
  • The substrate has potential applications in chemical sensing and can help one to follow up the kinetics of a reaction as in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
  • These applications demand adjustable spectral range and resolution for high throughput screening to test efficiently under identical conditions at a time, avoiding the necessity of using multiple substrates.

What is nanostructure?

A nanostructure is a structure of intermediate size between microscopic and molecular structures. Nanostructural detail is microstructure at nanoscale. Nanoscale structure in biology is often called ultrastructure.

What is nanotechnology?

  • When we modify materials at their atomic and molecular level, some very unusual and useful properties are generated.
  • Since the dimensions of atoms and molecule are in nanometers, this technology is called nanotechnology. The resulting materials are called nanomaterials.
  • Nanomaterials can be used for wide variety of things, ranging from purification of water to wrinkle free fabrics to curing cancer.

Nanotechnology in India

  • Efforts to promote research in nanotechnology in India began early in the millenium.
  • The “NanoScience and Technology Initiative” started with a funding of Rs. 60 crores.
  • In 2007, the government launched a 5-year program called Nano Mission with wider objectives and larger funding of USD 250 million.
  • The efforts have paid off well. India published over 23000 papers in nanoscience in the past 5 years.
  • But there is lot of room for improvement. The amount India spends on nanotechnology research is still just a fraction of the research spending of countries like Japan, USA, France and China.

GRANT OF CONSULAR SERVICES, EXTENDED SUSPENSION OF EXISTING VISAS

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

  • Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA), on 28.03.2020, had granted consular services on gratis basis to foreign nationals, presently residing in India due to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19 outbreak, till 30th April, 2020.
  • After considering the matter, it has been decided to extend the period of providing the following consular services by the Office of Foreigners Regional Registration Officers/ Foreigners Registration Officers to foreign nationals, presently stranded in India.
  • In the wake of continuing COVID-19 outbreak in the country, Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to extend the suspension of all existing visas granted to foreigners, except to those belonging to diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment and project categories, till 3rd May, 2020.

What are consular services?

  • Consular assistance is help and advice provided by the diplomatic agents of a country to citizens of that country who are living or traveling overseas.
  • The diplomats may be honorary consuls, or members of the country’s diplomatic service.
  • Diplomatic service is the body of diplomats and foreign policy officers maintained by the government of a country to communicate with the governments of other countries.
  • Diplomatic personnel obtains diplomatic immunity when they are accredited to other countries.
  • Diplomatic services are often part of the larger civil service and sometimes a constituent part of the foreign ministry.
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