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Turning alcohols into alkylating agents

Taking a cue from nature

31-Aug-2015

Researchers at Princeton have developed a dual catalyst system that directly installs alkyl groups onto heteroarenes. The new reaction uses simple and abundant alcohols and offers a milder and more widely applicable alternative to existing strategies. The reported transformation is the first to ...

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Soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into valuable products

Berkeley Lab researchers double down on a good thing by incorporating catalysts into crystalline sponges

31-Aug-2015

A molecular system for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide has been modified so that it now also holds great promise as a catalyst for converting captured carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ...

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How to look for a few good catalysts

04-Aug-2015

Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how liquids spread across a surface. Now researchers at MIT and other institutions have found that these two processes, which had been ...

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New chemistry makes strong bonds weak

30-Jul-2015

Researchers at Princeton have developed a new chemical reaction that breaks the strongest bond in a molecule instead of the weakest, completely reversing the norm for reactions in which bonds are evenly split to form reactive intermediates.Published in the Journal of the American Chemical ...

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Cages offer new direction in sustainable catalyst design

27-Jul-2015

University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have developed a new approach to structuring the catalysts used in essential reactions in the chemical and energy fields. The advance offers a pathway for industries to wean themselves off of platinum, one of the scarcest metals in the earth's crust.In an ...

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Molecular fuel cell catalysts hold promise for efficient energy storage

17-Jul-2015

In the quest for better, less expensive ways to store and use energy, platinum and other precious metals play an important role. They serve as catalysts to propel the most efficient fuel cells, but they are costly and rare. Now, a metal-free alternative catalyst for fuel cells may be at hand. In ...

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X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time

01-Jul-2015

A new technique pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real time and under real operating conditions. A team of scientists used a newly developed reaction chamber to combine x-ray absorption ...

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NIST's 'nano-raspberries' could bear fruit in fuel cells

12-Jun-2015

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a fast, simple process for making platinum 'nano-raspberries' - microscopic clusters of nanoscale particles of the precious metal. The berry-like shape is significant because it has a high surface area, which ...

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New CU-Boulder technique could slash energy used to produce many plastics

16-Apr-2015

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 ...

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Better catalysts, made-to-order

Scientists have taken a big step toward the rational design of catalysts

16-Feb-2015

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 ...

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