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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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Scientists get first glimpse of a chemical bond being born

A fundamental advance has big implications for making chemistry more efficient

16-Feb-2015

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 ...

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New catalyst uses light to convert nitrogen to ammonia

Method could lead to more environmentally friendly fertilizer production

06-Feb-2015

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 ...

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Cheap and abundant chemical outperforms precious metals as a catalyst

06-Feb-2015

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 ...

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Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals

01-Dec-2014

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 ...

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Secrets of enzyme used to make popular anti-cholesterol drug

15-May-2014

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 ...

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Breakthrough harnesses light for controlled chemical reaction

Dual-catalyst technique controls 'handedness' of product

28-Apr-2014

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 ...

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