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Converting biomass by applying mechanical force

15-Mar-2019

One of the greatest global challenges is the efficient use of renewable sources in order to meet the increasing demand for energy and feedstock chemicals in the future. In this context, biomass is a promising alternative to existing fossil sources such as coal or oil. Cellulose plays a decisive ...

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Examining silver nanoparticles in natural environments

28-Feb-2019

Thanks to their antibacterial properties, the particles are used in many products. Their effect on the environment is largely unexplored. This is mainly due to the lack of suitable analytical methods. Researchers from the Resolv Cluster of Excellence at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a ...

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How ice particles promote the formation of radicals

Chemistry in clouds

10-Dec-2018

Certain molecules with fluorine, chlorine or bromine, together with water, can release harmful substances into the atmosphere. The production of chlorofluorocarbons, which damage the ozone layer, has been banned as far as possible. However, other substances can also tear holes in the ozone layer ...

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How a crystal is solvated in water

The solvation process is of fundamental importance for chemistry – but is very difficult to observe

22-Nov-2018

How a molecule from a solid crystal structure is solvated in a liquid solvent has been observed at a molecular level for the first time by chemists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The process is too fast to decipher at room temperature. The team from the Ruhr Explores Solvation (Resolv) Cluster of ...

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Next step on the path towards an efficient biofuel cell

Two concepts combined making system as efficient as precious metal catalysts

16-Nov-2018

Fuel cells that work with the enzyme hydrogenase are, in principle, just as efficient as those that contain the expensive precious metal platinum as a catalyst. However, the enzymes need an aqueous environment, which makes it difficult for the starting material for the reaction – hydrogen – to ...

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Fully identified: The pathway of protons

New findings pave the way for chemical reproduction of hydrogen-producing enzymes

13-Nov-2018

The question how certain algal enzymes accomplish the high proton transfer rate for hydrogen production had in the past been subject to speculation. Dr. Martin Winkler, Dr. Jifu Duan, Professor Eckhard Hofmann and Professor Thomas Happe from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), together with colleagues ...

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Noble metal-free catalyst system as active as platinum

Affordable high-performance catalysts have come within reach

25-Oct-2018

The industry has been traditionally deploying platinum alloys as catalysts for oxygen reduction, which is for example essential in fuel cells or metal-air batteries. Expensive and rare, that metal imposes strict restrictions on manufacture. Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and ...

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Bio solar cell produces hydrogen

Modular character allows multiple applications

27-Sep-2018

An international team of researchers has combined molecular building blocks from plants and microorganisms in a bio solar cell so that they could use light energy to directly produce hydrogen. This combination does not occur like this in nature: although plants can use light energy to convert ...

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Improved understanding of industrial electrode processes

The findings could help save carbon dioxide in the future

24-Aug-2018

In the industrial production of chlorine, recently special electrodes have been introduced, which consume much less current than conventional systems. The method requires oxygen which is introduced into hot, highly concentrated sodium hydroxide solution, in which it is poorly soluble. It is still ...

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Individual silver nanoparticles observed in real time

31-Jul-2018

The particles have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. They are used in medicine and the food industry. But little is known about their mode of action and degradation so far. Chemists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a new method of observing the chemical reactions of ...

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