Energy & Green Tech

Removing the lead hazard from perovskite solar cells

Although they offer a very promising solution for capturing solar energy, perovskite solar cells contain lead, which is toxic to the environment and a serious health hazard. EPFL scientists have now found a very elegant and ...

Engineering

Engineers produce water-saving crop irrigation sensor

A team of University of Connecticut researchers engineered a soil moisture sensor that is more cost effective than anything currently available and responds to the global need to regulate water consumption in agriculture.

Energy & Green Tech

E-bike grumbles echo in the Bavarian Alps

Robert Werner and his wife Ursula usually make time to say a friendly hello to hikers as they ride their gently whirring e-bikes up trails in the Bavarian Alps.

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Soil

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics. It is composed of particles of broken rock that have been altered by chemical and environmental processes that include weathering and erosion. Soil differs from its parent rock due to interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and the biosphere. It is a mixture of mineral and organic constituents that are in solid, gaseous and aqueous states. Soil particles pack loosely, forming a soil structure filled with pore spaces. These pores contain sol solution (liquid) and air (gas). Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three state system. Most soils have a density between 1 and 2 g/cm³. Soil is also known as earth: it is the substance from which our planet takes its name. Little of the soil composition of planet Earth is older than Tertiary and most no older than Pleistocene. In engineering, soil is referred to as regolith, or loose rock material.

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