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Leaf-mimicking device harnesses light to purify water

08-Jan-2016

For years, scientists have been pursuing ways to imitate a leaf's photosynthetic power to make hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight. In a new twist, a team has come up with another kind of device that mimics two of a leaf's processes -- photosynthesis and transpiration -- to harness solar energy ...

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Aluminum nanoparticles could improve electronic displays

08-Jan-2016

Whether showing off family photos on smartphones or watching TV shows on laptops, many people look at liquid crystal displays (LCDs) every day. LCDs are continually being improved, but almost all currently use color technology that fades over time. Now, a team reports that using aluminum ...

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Waste paper could make summer grilling more environmentally friendly

28-Aug-2015

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

19-Aug-2015

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 ...

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The challenge of mining rare-earth materials outside China

31-Jul-2015

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 ...

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How to make palm oil without destroying forests

09-Mar-2015

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 ...

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PNNL Hydrogen Catalysis Team win ACS award

24-Feb-2015

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 ...

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Turning smartphones into personal, real-time pollution monitors

23-Feb-2015

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 ...

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Detecting chemical weapons with a color-changing film

02-Feb-2015

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 ...

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A new solution for storing hydrogen fuel for alternative energy

23-May-2014

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 ...

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