Electronics & Semiconductors

Computer scientists show how bacteria can fuel low-power sensors

Computer scientists at the University of California San Diego are showing how soil microbes can be harnessed to fuel low-power sensors. This opens new possibilities for microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which can power soil hydration ...


How green cities could remove CO₂ from the atmosphere

More than a thousand cities around the world now have "net zero" pledges: they want to emit only as much CO2 into the atmosphere as they can simultaneously recapture. An elaborate meta-study has now summarized the state of ...

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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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