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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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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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