Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An efficient path from carbon to renewable fuel production

Earth-abundant materials based primarily on carbon, nitrogen and transition metal oxides can be combined into highly efficient energy conversion devices. These devices can be used in fuel cells as well as in electrolysis.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1CKHFv7


Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance

Scientists say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1IOhyEj


How to make a profit from rotting garbage

Landfills can make a profit from all their rotting waste and a new patent explains exactly how to make the most out of the stinky garbage sites. Decomposing trash produces methane, a landfill gas that can be used to produce electricity or heat. Since methane is a greenhouse gas and most landfills don't produce enough of it to make energy production worthwhile, many dumpsites burn, or flare, the methane away so that the harmful gas does not escape into the atmosphere. But a new process shows how landfills can up their methane production to turn a profit.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1C2wzwu


Monday, March 30, 2015

Thin transparent flexible screens: Roll up your screen and stow it away?

As the demand for instant, constant communication grows, so too does the urgency for more convenient portable devices -- especially computer displays that can be easily rolled up and stored or transported. A new study suggests that a novel DNA-peptide structure can be used to produce thin, transparent, and flexible screens. The research harnesses bionanotechnology to emit a full range of colors in a single pliable pixel layer.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1OQKuQk


Friday, March 27, 2015

Recipe for antibacterial plastic: Plastic plus egg whites

Bioplastics made from protein sources such as albumin and whey have shown significant antibacterial properties, findings that could eventually lead to their use in plastics used in medical applications such as wound healing dressings, sutures, catheter tubes and drug delivery, according to a recent study. The bioplastic materials could also be used for food packaging.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1xlTFTa


Nanoscale worms provide new route to nano-necklace structures

Researchers have developed a novel technique for crafting nanometer-scale necklaces based on tiny star-like structures threaded onto a polymeric backbone. The technique could provide a new way to produce hybrid organic-inorganic shish kebab structures from semiconducting, magnetic, ferroelectric and other materials that may afford useful nanoscale properties.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1D7oT38


Researchers use nanoparticles to selectively target tumor cells in two cancer models

Nanomaterials have been used by researchers to pursue a systematic study of variables in xenograft models of both breast and ovarian human cancer. "The ultimate utility of anti-cancer nanoparticle technologies will depend in large part on their capacity to selectively home to cancer cells," explained the lead researcher. "Achieving optimal targeting of nanoparticles in clinically relevant scenarios remains a key challenge for researchers in this space."

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1951BND


Materials Genomics Initiative: Sequencing the DNA of things

Researchers are working to more quickly design materials that will find their ways to the marketplace. Just as the Human Genome Initiative in the 1990s sequenced human DNA for the subsequent identification and analysis of genes, so too will the Materials Genome Initiative sequence materials for identifying new properties for a variety of applications, scientists say.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1H6L8DZ


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Surface-modified nanoparticles endow coatings with combined properties

Nanoparticles are specifically adapted to the particular application by Small Molecule Surface Modification (SMSM). Thereby surfaces of workpieces or mouldings are expected to exhibit several different functions at one and the same time.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1EZyI0C


Simple method of binding pollutants in water

New types of membrane adsorbers remove unwanted particles from water and also, at the same time, dissolved substances such as the hormonally active bisphenol A or toxic lead. To do this, researchers have imbedded selective adsorber particles in filtration membranes.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1Gwprzb


Misuse of sustainability concept may lead to even more toxic chemical materials

Replacement of toxic chemical components by non-toxic natural analogs is a popular approach in sustainable projects. A new study has shown that partial replacement of chemical compounds by their natural analogs may surprisingly lead to even more toxic products.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1GwpryV


Chemists make new silicon-based nanomaterials

A new process uses silicon telluride to produce multilayered two-dimensional semiconductor materials in a variety of shapes and orientations.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1NeurKB


Bacteria can use magnetic particles to create a 'natural battery'

New research shows bacteria can use tiny magnetic particles to effectively create a 'natural battery.' According to new work, the bacteria can load electrons onto and discharge electrons from microscopic particles of magnetite. This discovery holds out the potential of using this mechanism to help clean up environmental pollution, and other bioengineering applications.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1E6253u


Agricultural waste could be used as biofuel

Straw-powered cars could be a thing of the future thanks to new research. A new study pinpoints five strains of yeast capable of turning agricultural by-products, such as straw, sawdust and corncobs, into bioethanol -- a well-known alcohol-based biofuel.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1HNmoRj


Novel plastic could spur new green energy applications, 'artificial muscles'

A plastic used in filters and tubing has an unusual trait: It can produce electricity when pulled or pressed. This ability has been used in small ways, but now researchers are coaxing fibers of it to make even more electricity for a wider range of applications from green energy to “artificial muscles.”

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1GsvO6t


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Desalination with nanoporous graphene membrane

Desalination is an energy-intensive process, which concerns those wanting to expand its application. Now, a team of experimentalists has demonstrated an energy-efficient desalination technology that uses a porous membrane made of strong, slim graphene—a carbon honeycomb one atom thick.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1Crqr5Y


Rare-earth innovation to improve nylon manufacturing

Scientists have created a new chemical process that makes use of the widely available rare-earth metal cerium to improve the manufacture of nylon.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1E0KqKI


Carbon nanotube fibers make superior links to brain

Carbon nanotube fibers may provide the best way to communicate directly with the brain. The research could enable new strategies for treating neurological disorders like Parkinson's, investigators say.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1FH1eqv


Algae from clogged waterways could serve as biofuels and fertilizer

Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists will report today that they are working on a way to clean up these environmental scourges and turn them into useful products. The algae could serve as a feedstock for biofuels, and the feedstock leftovers could be recycled back into farm soil nutrients.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1BnliYH


Goodbye to sunburn thanks to sunburn indicator

Sunbathers could soon tell when to take shelter in the shade thanks to an early warning sunburn indicator. Researchers have developed a strip of plastic, containing 'smart' ink, which turns colourless from an initial blue colour just before exposure to too much ultraviolet light from the sun, prompting you to move into the shade before you burn.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1CalCwo


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Optimising soft-optoelectronics materials through molecular engineering

Molecules used to make optoelectronic devices can be engineered to have specific properties, making the production of high-performance optoelectronic devices more efficient, according to a new article.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1GgW2J9


Mimicking nature's chemistry to solve global environmental problems

Catalysis could be made to help harness greenhouse gases, experts say.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1GgW1ok


Discovery could yield more efficient portable electronics, solar cells

A team of chemists has set the stage for more efficient and sturdier portable electronic devices and possibly a new generation of solar cells based on organic materials.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1EQofV8


Method to simplify pictures makes chemistry calculations a snap

A method smartphones use to simplify images when storage space is limited could help answer tough chemistry problems. Researchers now apply this technique, called compressed, or compressive sensing, to quickly and efficiently address central questions, like predicting how molecules vibrate. As these predictions get better and faster, researchers could get closer to the ideal of a 'virtual laboratory,' which could address many issues without ever lifting a pipet.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1HztoRq


New technique paints tissue samples with light

One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside tissues and cells, enabling fast and broad diagnostic assessments, thanks to a new imaging technique. Using a combination of advanced microscope imaging and computer analysis, the new technique can give pathologists and researchers precise information without using chemical stains or dyes.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1CMliG7


Got (fresh) milk? Preserving milk using energy efficient pulsed electric field processing

High voltage, short pulsed electric fields selectively damage cell membrane directly killing the contaminating bacteria by a process known as electroporation. Once applied multiple times, this process prevents bacteria proliferation in milk during storage, researchers say.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1HzYYlF


New membranes deliver clean water more efficiently

Researchers have developed new membranes or micro-filters that will result in clean water in a much more energy efficient manner.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1N4L3UZ


Monday, March 23, 2015

Catch-release-repeat: Novel technique for handling molecules

Chemists have developed a method capable of mimicking Nature's ability to sort, capture, transport and release molecules. The technique sets the stage for continuous and efficient manipulation of a broad range of molecules of relevance to human and environmental health.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1Ciq25K


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Portable DNA sequencing 'laboratory'

One of the first research Institutes to be part of MAP, TGAC plans to use the miniaturised sequencing device to conduct live environmental surveillance; rather than gathering samples to take back to the laboratory, enabling the researchers to deliver real-time experimental genetic data for immediate analysis. The team of scientists trialled the miniaturised sensing system by sequencing environmental samples, containing DNA from hundreds or thousands of different organisms.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1N3ky0e


New processing technology converts used packing peanuts to battery components

Researchers have shown how to convert waste packing peanuts into high-performance carbon electrodes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that outperform conventional graphite electrodes, representing an environmentally friendly approach to reuse the waste.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1xP1POT


Molecule from plants could make our roads and roofs 'greener'

Construction crews may someday use a plant molecule called lignin in their asphalt and sealant mixtures to help roads and roofs hold up better under various weather conditions and make them more environmentally friendly.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1xP1Nqc


Air pollutants could boost potency of common airborne allergens

A pair of air pollutants linked to climate change could also be major contributors to the unparalleled rise in the number of people sneezing, sniffling and wheezing during allergy season. The gases, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, appear to provoke chemical changes in certain airborne allergens that may increase their potency. That, in combination with changes in global climate could help explain why allergies are becoming more common.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1HjuSiE


Saturday, March 21, 2015

First proof of isolated attosecond pulse generation at the carbon K-edge

Researchers have been able to demonstrate, for the first time, the generation of isolated attosecond pulses at the water window. This achievement permits tracking and visualizing electronic motion with element specificity, i.e. bond formation and breaking during a chemical reaction, exciton dynamics in organic solar cells or the occurrence of ultrafast magnetism.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1CbNGAT


Explosive Destruction System Begins First Stockpile Project

This week the Explosive Destruction System, designed by Sandia for the U.S. Army, began safely destroying stockpile chemical munitions. The project to destroy 560 chemical munitions at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot with EDS is a prelude to a much larger operation to destroy the stockpile of 780,000 munitions containing 2,600 tons of mustard agent.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1xNu4gV


Friday, March 20, 2015

New transitory form of silica observed

Silicon dioxide, commonly called silica, is one of the most-abundant natural compounds and a major component of the Earth's crust and mantle. It is well-known even to non-scientists in its quartz crystalline form. Silica's various high-pressure forms make it an often-used study subject for scientists interested in the transition between different chemical phases under extreme conditions. A research team was able to discover five new forms of silica under extreme pressures at room temperature.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1EBewSx


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Click! That's how modern chemistry bonds nanoparticles to a substrate

Nanoparticles of various types can be quickly and permanently bonded to a solid substrate, if one of the most effective methods of synthesis, click chemistry, is used for this purpose.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1MONWsU


'Green' batteries made to last: Oxide/carbon composite outperforms expensive platinum composites

An oxide/carbon composite outperforms expensive platinum composites in oxygen chemical reactions for green energy devices. Electrochemical devices are crucial to a green energy revolution in which clean alternatives replace carbon-based fuels. This revolution requires conversion systems that produce hydrogen from water or rechargeable batteries that can store clean energy in cars. Now, Singapore-based researchers have developed improved catalysts as electrodes for efficient and more durable green energy devices.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/198oJKJ


Uncovering a reaction's secrets

A theoretical and experimental study could lead to improved catalysts for producing hydrogen fuel from waste biomass.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/19EbMJU


Geoengineering proposal may backfire: Ocean pipes 'not cool,' would end up warming climate

There are a variety of proposals that involve using vertical ocean pipes to move seawater to the surface from the depths in order to reap different potential climate benefits. One idea involves using ocean pipes to facilitate direct physical cooling of the surface ocean by replacing warm surface ocean waters with colder, deeper waters. New research shows that these pipes could actually increase global warming quite drastically.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1Fb8mes


Scientists invent new way to control light, critical for next gen of super fast computing

A device resembling a plastic honeycomb yet infinitely smaller than a bee's stinger can steer light beams around tighter curves than ever before possible, while keeping the integrity and intensity of the beam intact.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1H43Snh


Buckyballs become bucky-bombs, when aimed at cancer cells

Scientists have built nanoscale explosives out of buckyballs that could one day be used to eliminate cancer cells without damaging surrounding tissue.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1FFgz9R


Substitute for natural gas generated from waste

Scientists have managed to obtain biogas from "garbage or organic waste", having replaced part of the natural gas used by the Pilgrim's company in the state of Querétaro, which produces chicken, and in Xaquixe, a company dedicated to the development of glass art in the state of Oaxaca.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1I1R5To


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Novel water-splitting photocatalyst operable over wide range of the visible light spectrum

Clean renewable energy can be produced by photocatalytically splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with solar energy. Most of the conventionally developed water-splitting photocatalysts, however, were only active under UV irradiation, and only a few have been demonstrated to operate under visible light, at up to 500 nm. For making high-efficiency use of solar energy, it was necessary to develop a photocatalyst that can utilize longer wavelength light. Scientists have now developed a water-splitting photocatalyst that is operable over a wider range of the visible light spectrum than before.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1F4OOZa


Iron rain fell on early Earth, new Z machine data supports

Physical tests reveal that, at pressures rivaling those when worlds collide, iron vaporizes at far lower pressures than assumed by theoreticians, explaining why the element is distributed in Earth's mantle rather than collected at its core.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1GpJoFF


Electronic waste has energy value

Using discarded electronic boards, researchers have developed a system for obtaining clean hydrogen that can be used as fuel. The researchers have already registered the patent of the process in Japan.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1AGf4me


Fine-tuning quantum dots from coal

The size of graphene quantum dots made from coal can be finely tuned in a single step for electronic and fluorescent properties, according to scientists.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/192papR


There's a revolution brewing in the technology kitchen: Imagine technology that is good enough to wear, safe enough to eat

Imagine technology that is good enough to wear and safe enough to eat. Technology innovation specialists are working on a project to design a range of wide-reaching sensing devices for people suffering with anxiety.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1B0KmDA


30 years after C60: Fullerene chemistry with silicon opens new possibilities in semiconductor industry

Chemists have managed to synthesize a compound featuring an Si20 dodecahedron. The long strived-for silicon dodecahedron has been synthesized at room temperature.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1MOafwQ


The ecstasy and the agony: Compression studies of MDMA

MDMA (3,4-methyenedioxymethamphetamine), a Class A substance that is usually found in a tableted form, is a psychoactive drug which is structurally similar to methylamphetamine and acts as a central nervous system stimulant, producing mood enhancement, increased energy and other empathetic effects. MDMA was first synthesized by Merck as far back as 1912 as a potential appetite suppressant; however, the company never marketed it as such.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1GXjWHo


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Graphene 'gateway' discovery opens possibilities for improved energy technologies

Graphene, a strong, lightweight carbon honeycombed structure, only one atom thick, holds great promise for energy research and development. Recently scientists revealed graphene can serve as a proton-selective permeable membrane, providing a new basis for streamlined and more efficient energy technologies such as improved fuel cells.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1LpBNxh