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Waste paper could make summer grilling more environmentally friendly


Summertime is waning, and that means the end of backyard barbecues is almost upon us. That also means an end to dousing charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid. Reducing the use of lighter fluid might not be a bad thing, as many of those products are made from crude oil and emit potentially ...


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Mosquito-repelling chemicals identified in traditional sweetgrass


Native North Americans have long adorned themselves and their homes with fragrant sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), a native plant used in traditional medicine, to repel biting insects, and mosquitoes in particular. Now, researchers report that they have identified the compounds in sweetgrass that ...


The challenge of mining rare-earth materials outside China


Five years ago, the cost of rare-earth materials that are critical for today's electronics went through the roof. An export quota set by China, which mines most of the world's rare earths, caused the price run-up. Though short-lived, the occurrence spurred calls for developing mines outside ...


How to make palm oil without destroying forests


The versatility of palm oil has led to its use in not just food products but also in everyday goods from lipstick to laundry detergent. But its utility has resulted in the destruction of Southeast Asian rain forests that are the primary source of the oil. An article in Chemical & Engineering News ...


PNNL Hydrogen Catalysis Team win ACS award


ACS Catalysis and the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Catalysis Science & Technology are announced Morris Bullock, Ph.D., Daniel DuBois, Ph.D., and the Hydrogen Catalysis Team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have won the 2015 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the ...


Turning smartphones into personal, real-time pollution monitors


As urban residents know, air quality is a big deal. When local pollution levels go up, the associated health risks also increase, especially for children and seniors. But air pollution varies widely over the course of a day and by location, even within the same city. Now scientists, reporting in ...


Detecting chemical weapons with a color-changing film


In today's world, in which the threat of terrorism looms, there is an urgent need for fast, reliable tools to detect the release of deadly chemical warfare agents (CWAs). In the journal ACS Macro Letters, scientists are reporting new progress toward thin-film materials that could rapidly change ...


A new solution for storing hydrogen fuel for alternative energy


Turning the "hydrogen economy" concept into a reality, even on a small scale, has been a bumpy road, but scientists are developing a novel way to store hydrogen to smooth out the long-awaited transition away from fossil fuels. Their report on a new solid, stable material that can pack in a large ...


In the wake of high-profile battery fires, a safer approach emerges


As news reports of lithium-ion battery (LIB) fires in Boeing Dreamliner planes and Tesla electric cars remind us, these batteries — which are in everyday portable devices, like tablets and smartphones — have their downsides. Now, scientists have designed a safer kind of lithium battery component ...


New smart coating could make oil-spill cleanup faster and more efficient


In the wake of recent off-shore oil spills, and with the growing popularity of "fracking" — in which water is used to release oil and gas from shale — there's a need for easy, quick ways to separate oil and water. Now, scientists have developed coatings that can do just that. Their report on the ...


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