The European Union is a major driver of scientific research. Stories of European-Australian Research highlights the scope of collaboration between Europe and Australia that spans almost every discipline.
(Updated stories for Europe Day 2021)
The Danish wind turbine company Vestas is teaming up with Australian
scientists to develop stronger carbon fibre composite materials to be used in
reinforcing turbine blades.
Updated for Europe Day, 7 June 2021
Vestas has funded two years of research at Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus facility in Geelong into strengthening carbon fibre.
The investment is part of a project to build two wind farms in Victoria that together will deliver more than 500 megawatts, enough to power 350,000 homes.
Continue reading Stronger materials for bigger turbines
Investigating solar panels, joint lubricants, COVID-19 and much more.
A neutron beam instrument, gifted to Australia by German materials research agency HZB, is now operating at the ANSTO nuclear reactor in Sydney.
Continue reading The neutron zone
South Australian winemakers are looking to Europe as the climate—and what drinkers want—is changing.
Grapes don’t ripen the way they used to. As temperatures climb, they are getting sweeter faster.
Winemakers find that by the time the crop achieves the right colour or level of tannins, the grapes contain more sugar. More sugar means heavier, more alcoholic wine. At the same time, drinkers are preferring lighter wines Continue reading Making wine in a warming world
China and Australia are the world’s two largest producers of gold. So, it’s fitting that a device combining Australian and Chinese research, and capabilities in high-tech manufacturing, is set to shake up the industry.
Ore processors need to know how much gold is in their raw material to get the most out of it. The current industry standard for testing ore is the fire assay, an elaborate and time-consuming process that requires temperatures over 1000 degrees and toxic chemicals such as lead. It also takes at least 8 hours to complete.
Continue reading X-rays for gold
New technologies are making natural gas a cheaper and greener fuel
Air quality in China’s cities is improving thanks to government initiatives to reduce urban coal burning. In Beijing, for example, homes, schools, hospitals and factories are switching from coal to gas for heating. As a result, demand for gas has quadrupled over the past decade. Now Australian researchers are partnering with Chinese industry to make gas production even cleaner and more efficient.
Both countries will benefit. China has large gas reserves but much of the gas is in unconventional sources such as coal seam gas and shale gas. The gases from these sources can contain less than 50 per cent methane so impurities such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen must be removed. For nitrogen that usually means cooling the gas to separate the valuable methane from the nitrogen in an energy-intensive process costing billions of dollars.
Continue reading Clean gas, clean air
Reading brain activity for better anaesthesia
More than 40 million people have major surgery in China each year. For every one of them the nature of consciousness is a very practical concern. Too low a dose of anaesthetic could see you wake up during the operation. Too high a dose could have long term health consequences.
Currently, the best monitoring devices can only monitor a suite of secondary indicators of consciousness. A Guangdong company has partnered with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) with the aim of making anaesthesia easier and safer. They’re creating an intelligent device to directly measure the depth of unconsciousness and adjust the anaesthetic dose in real time.
Continue reading How deep is your sleep?
High on the Antarctic Plateau, in one of the coldest places on Earth, a group of telescopes are peering through stellar dust clouds into the heart of our galaxy.
The cold helps counteract interference from the telescopes and surrounding equipment, which can hinder our ability to see relatively
Continue reading The ‘coolest’ place for astronomy
‘cool’ objects in space, such as asteroids, young stars, and interstellar gas.
China and Australia can dramatically boost wheat yields and improve food security by unlocking the genetic potential within the hundreds of wheat varieties grown in the two countries. That’s the promise of the latest collaboration between wheat researchers in the two countries.
Chinese farmers have been growing wheat for at least 4,000 years. Crop yields per hectare are now nearly 10 times higher than in 1960 and China is now the largest wheat producer in the world. But wheat researchers say we can do more.
Continue reading More wheat, less water
Working together to create advanced manufacturing industries
The maiden flight of the COMAC C919 airliner in May 2017 illustrated China’s ambition in advanced manufacturing.
Many of the airliner’s parts are made using 3D printing, and Australian engineers are working with their Chinese colleagues to develop the technology further.
Continue reading From sky to hospital