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Tiny power generator runs on spit

07-04-2014

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 ...

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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

18-03-2014

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

03-03-2014

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

20-02-2014

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 ...

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Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel

14-02-2014

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

04-02-2014

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

28-01-2014

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 ...

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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

23-01-2014

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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Sun’s energy during day for use at night

16-01-2014

Solar energy has long been used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but it could only be harnessed during the day when the sun’s rays were strongest. Now researchers led by Tom Meyer at the Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ...

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Laundering money -- literally -- could save billions of dollars

10-01-2014

A dollar bill gets around, passing from hand to hand, falling on streets and sidewalks, eventually getting so grimy that a bank machine flags it and sends it to the shredder. Rather than destroying it, scientists have developed a new way to clean paper money to prolong its life. The research, ...

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