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Plastics could see a second life as biodegradable surfactants

A new chemical process provides biodegradable chemicals

30-Apr-2021

Scientists at the Institute for Cooperative Upcycling of Plastics (iCOUP), an Energy Frontier Research Center led by Ames Laboratory, have discovered a chemical process that provides biodegradable, valuable chemicals, which are used as surfactants and detergents in a range of applications, from ...

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Borrowing from birds, experts reduce search times for novel high-entropy alloys to seconds

Hybrid CS algorithm borrows from behavior of cuckoo birds

18-Jan-2021

Computational materials science experts at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory enhanced an algorithm that borrows its approach from the nesting habits of cuckoo birds, reducing the search time for new high-tech alloys from weeks to mere seconds. The scientists are investigating a type ...

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A first-of-its-kind catalyst mimics natural processes to break down plastics

The new catalyst is able to process polymers widely used in things like plastic grocery bags, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, toys, and food containers

22-Oct-2020

While plastics recycling is not new science, current processes don't make it economically worthwhile-- waste plastics get "down-cycled" into lower grade, less useful material. It's a challenge that continues to be an obstacle in tackling a growing global pollution crisis in single use plastics. A ...

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New Nitrogen Assembly Carbon catalyst has potential to transform chemical manufacturing

More sophisticated and challenging chemical transformations without the need for transition metals

28-Aug-2020

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered a metal-free carbon-based catalyst that has the potential to be much less expensive and more efficient for many industrial concerns, including manufacturing of bio- and fossil fuels, electrocatalysis, and fuel cells. At ...

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New discovery settles long-standing debate about photovoltaic materials

21-Apr-2020

Scientists have theorized that organometallic halide perovskites - a class of light harvesting "wonder" materials for applications in solar cells and quantum electronics - are so promising due to an unseen yet highly controversial mechanism called the Rashba effect. Scientists at the U.S. ...

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How do you know it's perfect graphene?

The answer has been there all along

04-Nov-2019

Producing structurally perfect graphene and other 2D materials is the secret to tapping into their potential novel electronic and spintronic properties. But how do we know when graphene, the most widely studied 2D material, is perfect-- a defect-free and uniform layer of atoms? Scientists at the ...

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Taking magnetism for a spin

Exploring the mysteries of skyrmions

28-Jan-2019

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered the relaxation dynamics of a zero-field state in skyrmions, a spinning magnetic phenomenon that has potential applications in data storage and spintronic devices. Skyrmions are nanoscale whirls or vortices of magnetic ...

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Physicists uncover new competing state of matter in superconducting material

04-Jan-2019

A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, which reveals a laser-induced formation of collective behaviors that ...

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One-step 3-D printing of catalysts

03-Nov-2017

The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has developed a 3D printing process that creates a chemically active catalytic object in a single step, opening the door to more efficient ways to produce catalysts for complex chemical reactions in a wide scope of industries. While 3D printing has ...

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No more acid needed

Separation of rare earth metals from electronic waste

11-Sep-2017

A new rare-earth magnet recycling process developed by researchers at the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) dissolves magnets in an acid-free solution and recovers high purity rare earth elements. For shredded magnet-containing electronic wastes, the process does not require pre-processing such ...

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