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Producing ‘green’ energy — literally — from living plant ‘bio-solar cells’

Scientists have turned to photosynthesis to generate current

15-Dec-2022

Though plants can serve as a source of food, oxygen and décor, they’re not often considered to be a good source of electricity. But by collecting electrons naturally transported within plant cells, scientists can generate electricity as part of a “green,” biological solar cell. Now, researchers ...

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Designing better water filters with AI

Study demonstrates AI’s usefulness toward developing water purification membranes with novel properties

07-Dec-2022

Even the best water filters let some things through, but designing improved materials and then testing them is time consuming and difficult. Now, researchers in ACS Central Science report that artificial intelligence (AI) could speed up the development of promising materials. In a ...

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Microplastics could make other pollutants more harmful

Sunscreens contain compounds that could interact with microplastics and other pollutants, potentially making them more harmful

06-Dec-2022

Microplastics — small plastic pieces less than five millimeters in length — are becoming a ubiquitous ecological contaminant. Studies suggest that on their own, these tiny bits are potentially harmful, and it’s unclear what effect they could have on pollutants that latch onto them. Now, ...

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Putting the brakes on lithium-ion batteries to prevent fires

New technology could make Li-ion batteries safer without having to sacrifice their performance

17-Nov-2022

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used to power everything from smart watches to electric vehicles, thanks to the large amounts of energy they can store in small spaces. When overheated, however, they’re prone to catching fire or even exploding. But recent research published in ACS’ Nano Letters ...

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Storing hydrogen fuel in salts — a step toward ‘cleaner’ energy production

This technique paves the way for large-scale hydrogen storage in solids

25-Oct-2022

Hydrogen gas could someday replace fossil fuels as a “clean” energy source, producing only water and energy. However, handling large quantities of gaseous hydrogen is cumbersome, and converting it to a liquid requires vessels that can withstand extremely high pressures. Now, researchers reporting ...

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How to tell if that plastic bottle or bag has recycled material in it

27-Sep-2022

To encourage more recycling, the U.K. taxes single-use plastic products containing less than 30% recycled material. But aside from a manufacturer’s word, there isn’t an easy way to verify this composition. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering have developed a ...

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Nanoplastics can disrupt human liver, lung cells’ processes in lab experiments

What happens when people unknowingly eat, drink or inhale nearly invisible pieces of plastic?

20-Sep-2022

Although it’s unclear what impact this really has on humans, researchers have now taken a step toward answering that question. In ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, a team reports laboratory results indicating that tiny plastic particles could enter liver and lung cells and disrupt their ...

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Shining light on why plastics turn yellow

Insights could help researchers design plastic products that last longer before becoming unsightly or unusable

08-Sep-2022

If you own a retro gaming console or have an old roll of packing tape, you’ve seen how plastics turn yellow as they age. Though the cause of this color change has long been attributed to the formation of molecules that act as dyes — the actual chemical changes that take place remained ...

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Detecting nanoplastics in the air

“Nanoplastics are a major concern if they’re in the air that you breathe, getting into your lungs and potentially causing health problems”

29-Aug-2022

Large pieces of plastic can break down into nanosized particles that often find their way into the soil and water. Perhaps less well known is that they can also float in the air. It’s unclear how nanoplastics impact human health, but animal studies suggest they’re potentially harmful. As a step ...

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Exposing what’s in tattoo ink

Ingredient lists often aren’t accurate

29-Aug-2022

From life-like faces to elaborate nature scenes, tattoos are a true art form. Although people have decorated their bodies for millennia for ceremonial and religious reasons, many people today adorn themselves with these images as a form of self-expression. But the inks used for tattoos are ...

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