Tag Archives: catalyst

Catalyst could make production of key chemical more eco-friendly

A new catalyst combining copper nanoparticles with a special type of graphene could lead to a greener way of producing ethylene, a key commodity chemical.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The world has more carbon dioxide than it needs, and a team of Brown University chemists has come up with a potential way to put some of it to good use. (more…)

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Scientists Part the Clouds on How Droplets Form

Berkeley Lab researchers find new mechanism to explain the birth of cloud droplets, could influence climate models

There is enough known about cloud formation that replicating its mechanism has become a staple of the school science project scene. But a new study by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) reveals that much more is going on at the microscopic level of cloud formation than previously thought. (more…)

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Edgy Look at 2D Molybdenum Disulfide

Berkeley Lab Researchers Observe 1D Edge States Critical to Nanoelectronic and Photonic Applications

The drive to develop ultrasmall and ultrafast electronic devices using a single atomic layer of semiconductors, such as transition metal dichalcogenides, has received a significant boost. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have recorded the first observations of a strong nonlinear optical resonance along the edges of a single layer of molybdenum disulfide. The existence of these edge states is key to the use of molybdenum disulfide in nanoelectronics, as well as a catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction in fuel cells, desulfurization and other chemical reactions. (more…)

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Renewable energy resources

UD researchers report on new catalyst to convert greenhouse gases into chemicals

A team of researchers at the University of Delaware has developed a highly selective catalyst capable of electrochemically converting carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — to carbon monoxide with 92 percent efficiency. The carbon monoxide then can be used to develop useful chemicals.

The researchers recently reported their findings in Nature Communications. (more…)

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For metals of the smartphone age, no Plan B

Many of the metals needed to feed the surging global demand for high-tech products, from smart phones to solar panels, cannot be replaced, leaving some markets vulnerable if resources become scarce, according to a new Yale study.

In a comprehensive analysis, a team of researchers from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) evaluated how all 62 metals or metalloids on the periodic table of elements are used in consumer products, and the extent to which each of those metals could be replaced if reserves dwindle or supplies become unreliable. (more…)

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The Best of Both Catalytic Worlds

Berkeley Lab Researchers Develop New Technique for Heterogenizing Homogenous Nano Catalysts

Catalysts are substances that speed up the rates of chemical reactions without themselves being chemically changed. Industrial catalysts come in two main types – heterogeneous, in which the catalyst is in a different phase from the reactants; and homogeneous, in which catalyst and the reactants are in the same phase. Heterogeneous catalysts are valued for their sustainability because they can be recycled. Homogeneous catalysts are valued for their product selectivity as their properties can be easily tuned through relatively simple chemistry.

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have combined the best properties of both types of industrial catalysts by encapsulating nanoclusters of a metallic heterogeneous catalyst within the branched arms of the molecules known as dendrimers. (more…)

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Which Ads Are Winners? Your Brain Knows Better Than You Do

Study on smokers’ brains may mark dawn of a new age in advertising

Advertisers and public health officials may be able to access hidden wisdom in the brain to more effectively sell their products and promote health and safety, UCLA neuroscientists report in the first study to use brain data to predict how large populations will respond to advertisements.

Thirty smokers who were trying to quit watched television commercials from three advertising campaigns, which all ended by showing the phone number of the National Cancer Institute’s smoking-cessation hotline. They were asked which commercials they thought would be most effective; they responded that advertising campaigns “A” and “B” would be the best and “C” would be the worst. (more…)

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Not Your Parents’ Chem Labs

‘Greener’ and more engaging experiments draw students in

As a college student, Michelle Driessen had an all-too-typical experience.

“I hated general chemistry,” she says. “I thought it was terribly boring.”

She had plenty of company. Experiments were all laid out in advance, and the goal seemed to be to get to a predetermined result without blowing up the glassware.

In the old days, “very few students appreciated the point of most general chemistry labs,” adds Driessen. “With cookbook chemistry, you couldn’t have anything go wrong or deviate [from what’s supposed to happen], but I find those things to be the most interesting part of science.” (more…)

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