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Importance of 2D Conjugated Side Chains of Benzodithiophene-Based Polymers in Controlling Polymer Packing, Interfacial Ordering, and Composition Variations of All-Polymer Solar Cells

We delineate the important role of 2D conjugated alkylthiophene side chains of polymers in manipulating the molecular orientation and ordering at the polymer donor/polymer acceptor (PD/PA) interface as well as the composition variations in the blend active layer of all-polymer solar cells (all-PSCs). To systematically investigate the impact of 2D conjugated side chains on the performance of all-PSCs, we synthesized a series of poly(benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b̀]-dithiophene-thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione) (PBDTTPD) polymer donors with different contents of alkoxy and alkylthiophene side chains, from 0 to 100% (PBDT-TPD (P1, 100% alkoxy side chain), PBDTT0.29-TPD (P2), PBDTT0.59-TPD (P3), PBDTT0.76-TPD (P4), and PBDTT-TPD (P5, 100% alkylthiophene side chain).

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In bold letters "NSF"

Decision Support for Water Stressed FEW Nexus Decisions (DS-WSND)

This project addresses: 1) integrated and coordinated domain modeling use in FEW Nexus tradeoff analysis, and 2) decision support modeling and optimization regarding improvements in FEW Nexus decision making, both in water scarce areas. The project employs case studies encompassing the San Antonio and Los Angeles\San Diego regions. Project activities examine mechanisms to improve food, energy and water systems joint management using domain bias free modeling approaches. Such modeling is designed to consider and evaluate alternative policy, management, and technology strategies across domain boundaries. The modeling system represents and informs water development, technology, conservation, policy, implementation, and incentive-design.

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In Bold green and black font " Environmental Science & Technology"

Probing Pore Wetting in Membrane Distillation Using Impedance: Early Detection and Mechanism of Surfactant-Induced Wetting

ore wetting is an important failure mechanism unique to membrane distillation (MD). The existing approach of wetting detection based on distillate conductivity works only when a membrane has failed in the presence of fully wicked-through pores. In this study, we develop a novel and simple method, based on measurement of cross-membrane impedance, for monitoring the dynamics of membrane pore wetting and enabling early detection of imminent wetting-based membrane failure.

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In Bold green and black font " Environmental Science & Technology"

Transformation of Phosphorus during (Hydro)thermal Treatments of Solid Biowastes: Reaction Mechanisms and Implications for P Reclamation and Recycling

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for all organisms, thus playing unique and critical roles at the food–energy–water nexus. Most P utilized by human activities eventually converges into various solid biowastes, such as crop biomass, animal manures, and sewage sludges. Therefore, integration of efficient P recovery practices into solid biowaste management will not only significantly reduce the dependence on limited geological P resources but also reduce P runoff and related water contamination issues associated with traditional waste management strategies.

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The Curious Case of Fluorination of Conjugated Polymers for Solar Cells

Organic solar cells (OSCs) have been a rising star in the field of renewable energy since the introduction of the bulk heterojunction (BHJ) in 1992. Recent advances have pushed the efficiencies of OSCs to over 13%, an impressive accomplishment via collaborative efforts in rational materials design and synthesis, careful device engineering, and fundamental understanding of device physics.

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Scarcity Amid Abundance: Understanding Trade-offs in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in the Willamette River Basin

Food, energy, and water security are required for the health, prosperity and welfare of growing populations. Three resource security is also needed to prepare for anticipated land use change, wildfire, population change, climatic alterations and unpredictable future events. Food, energy and water security cannot be achieved in isolation, with supply chains that are linked at every stage, and influenced by a range of common factors (markets, laws, policies).

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Advancing FEW System Resilience in the Corn Belt by Integrated Technology-Environment-Economics Modeling of Nutrient Cycling

Food production, water supply, water quality, energy supply, and economic growth and financial stability in the Corn Belt depend on each other while competing for resources. In particular, recent increases in corn-based ethanol production in the region have increased interdependencies among food, energy and water (FEW) in the region and made the integrated FEW system more vulnerable to risks and threats.

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NSF focuses of the Food-Energy-Water nexus

Towards Resilient Food-Energy-Water Systems in Response to Drought Impacts and Socioeconomic Shocks

Unless we fully understand how food, energy, and water (FEW) components are interconnected and how humans interact with them, especially during times of water shortage, these components will not be sustainable. The research supported by this award seeks to advance the knowledge of how FEW components are interconnected, interact, and operate in response to drought and economic shocks, and how humans can utilize these components to meet their livelihood demands in a sustainable way.

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Precise Manipulation of Multilength Scale Morphology and Its Influence on Eco‐Friendly Printed All‐Polymer Solar Cells

Significant efforts have lead to demonstrations of nonfullerene solar cells (NFSCs) with record power conversion efficiency up to ≈13% for polymer:small molecule blends and ≈9% for all‐polymer blends. However, the control of morphology in NFSCs based on polymer blends is very challenging and a key obstacle to pushing this technology to eventual commercialization.

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The impact of wind power growth and hydrological uncertainty on financial losses from oversupply events in hydropower-dominated systems

The rapid expansion of variable renewable energy (e.g., wind and solar) can make it more difficult to balance electricity supply and demand at a grid-scale. While much attention has focused on the risk of unexpected generation shortfalls, periods of oversupply (when supply is greater than demand) also present challenges that can lead to financial losses for utilities and/or consumers when renewable energy is “curtailed”.

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This article focuses on dams and hydropower

Rethinking Dams: Innovative hydropower solutions to achieve sustainable food and energy production, and sustainable communities

Hydropower dams have been an important part of worldwide energy production, but they also have resulted in substantial negative environmental and social outcomes. This project will study a new way to think about hydropower, one that looks not just at energy production as the goal, but as an integrated system that can generate ecological, economic, and societal benefits beyond electricity.

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The National Science Foundation focuses on the Food-Energy-Water nexus

The sustainability-productivity tradeoff: Water supply vulnerabilities and adaptation opportunities in California’s coupled agricultural and energy sectors

The interdependence of water availability, agricultural production, and electric power generation is well established, yet significant challenges remain for understanding how decisions or resource disruptions in any one of these sectors impact the system as a whole. Nowhere is this challenge more pressing than California, which, despite chronic water scarcity, continues to lead the nation in agricultural production by a factor of two.

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The National Science Foundation focuses on the Food-Energy-Water nexus

Reducing Household Food, Energy and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation

Changes in household-level actions in the U.S. have the potential to reduce rates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change by reducing consumption of food, energy and water (FEW). This project will identify potential interventions for reducing household FEW consumption, test options in participating households in two communities, and collect data to develop new environmental impact models.

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