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A new material developed at the University of Colorado Boulder could radically reduce the energy needed to produce a wide variety of plastic products, from grocery bags and cling wrap to replacement hips and bulletproof vests.Approximately 80 million metric tons of polyethylene is produced ...
Scientists have taken a big step toward the rational design of catalysts
Most of our food, medicine, fuel, plastics and synthetic fibers wouldn't exist without catalysts, materials that open favorable pathways for chemical reactions to run forth. And yet chemists don't fully understand how most catalysts work, and developing new catalysts often still depends on ...
A fundamental advance has big implications for making chemistry more efficient
Scientists have used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to get the first glimpse of the transition state where two atoms begin to form a weak bond on the way to becoming a molecule. This fundamental advance, reported Feb. 12 in Science Express and ...
Method could lead to more environmentally friendly fertilizer production
Northwestern University scientists are the first to develop a catalyst that can perform a remarkable feat found only in nature: take nitrogen from the air and turn it into ammonia under natural conditions. No high temperatures or pressure required. Driven by light, the new method offers promise ...
A team of Caltech chemists has discovered a method for producing a group of silicon-containing organic chemicals without relying on expensive precious metal catalysts. Instead, the new technique uses as a catalyst a cheap, abundant chemical that is commonly found in chemistry labs around the ...
New catalysts designed and investigated by Tufts University School of Engineering researchers and collaborators from other university and national laboratories have the potential to greatly reduce processing costs in future fuels, such as hydrogen. The catalysts are composed of a unique structure ...
In pharmaceutical production, identifying enzyme catalysts that help improve the speed and efficiency of the process can be a major boon. Figuring out exactly why a particular enzyme works so well is an altogether different quest. Take the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin. First marketed ...
Dual-catalyst technique controls 'handedness' of product
When chemist Tehshik Yoon looks out his office window, he sees a source of energy to drive chemical reactions. Plants "learned" to synthesize chemicals with sunlight eons ago; Yoon came to the field a bit more recently. In the journal Science, he and three collaborators detail a way to use ...
First view of nature-inspired catalyst after ripping hydrogen apart provides insights for better, cheaper fuel cells
Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen feast. The view confirms previous hypotheses and ...
Discovery may impact natural gas use in the US
America's current energy boom may take a new direction thanks to the discovery of a new way to turn raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel. In the issue of Science magazine, chemists from Brigham Young University and The Scripps Research Institute detail a process that could reduce ...