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New material could boost batteries' power, help power plants


You're going to have to think very small to understand something that has the potential to be very big. A team of researchers, including Kyle Brinkman of Clemson University, developed a material that acts as a superhighway for ions. The material could make batteries more powerful, change how ...


Study reveals how oxygen is like kryptonite to titanium

Discovery could lead to cost-effective use of cheaper grades of popular material


Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found the mechanism by which titanium, prized for its high strength-to-weight ratio and natural resistance to corrosion, becomes brittle with just a few extra atoms of oxygen. The discovery, described in Science, has the potential to open ...


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Tiny power generator runs on spit


Saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications, according to an international team of engineers. Bruce E. Logan, Evan Pugh Professor and Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering, Penn State, credited the idea to ...


Novel membrane reveals water molecules will bounce off a liquid surface

Study may lead to more efficient water-desalination systems, fundamental understanding of fluid flow


Consider the nearest water surface: a half-full glass on your desk, a puddle outside your window, or a lake across town. All of these surfaces represent liquid-vapor interfaces, where liquid meets air. Molecules of water vapor constantly collide with these liquid surfaces: Some make it through ...


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Big step for next-generation fuel cells and electrolyzers

Researchers at Berkeley and Argonne National Labs discover highly promising new class of nanocatalyst


A big step in the development of next-generation fuel cells and water-alkali electrolyzers has been achieved with the discovery of a new class of bimetallic nanocatalysts that are an order of magnitude higher in activity than the target set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for 2017. The new ...


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Artificial leaf jumps developmental hurdle


In a recent early online edition of Nature Chemistry, ASU scientists, along with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory, have reported advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into ...


Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel


Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report. The conversion produces significantly more energy than it requires and results in transportation fuels – diesel, for example – ...


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Nearly everyone uses piezoelectrics

Be nice to know how they work


Piezoelectrics—materials that can change mechanical stress to electricity and back again—are everywhere in modern life. Computer hard drives. Loud speakers. Medical ultrasound. Sonar. Though piezoelectrics are a widely used technology, there are major gaps in our understanding of how they work. ...


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Old chemical new tricks to make cleaner fuels, fertilizers

Researchers from Denmark and Stanford show how to produce industrial quantities of hydrogen without emitting carbon into the atmosphere


University researchers from two continents have engineered an efficient and environmentally friendly catalyst for the production of molecular hydrogen (H2), a compound used extensively in modern industry to manufacture fertilizer and refine crude oil into gasoline. Although hydrogen is abundant ...


A 21st century adaptation of the Miller-Urey origin of life experiments

A safe approach to investigating how organic molecules could come about from inorganic compounds


The Journal of Visualized Experiments published a modern approach to a famed experiment that explored one of the most intriguing research questions facing scientists today—the origin of life on earth. The protocol, titled Conducting Miller-Urey Experiments, is comprised of a modern and simplified ...


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