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Robust and flexible to synthetic methane

New reactor concept for methanation: Direct feed into the gas grid


Synthetic energy carriers are carbon-neutral and make renewable energy transportable and storable in the long term. Synthetically produced methane is one of them. The problem: The production involves rather high energy losses; moreover, existing processes require the methane to be purified. To ...


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Electricity even in poor lighting conditions

2nd place for Empa spin-off Perovskia Solar


The Empa spin-off Perovskia Solar has been awarded second place at the Swiss Innovation Challenge, leaving more than 100 competitors behind. The prizes were presented by Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin. Perovskia Solar manufactures digitally printed, customizable solar cells that seamlessly ...


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A single instrument determines a total of ten greenhouse gases and air pollutants simultaneously and with high precision

"Innosuisse Certificate" for Empa Spin-off: Ready for sustainable growth


Founded in February 2018 as an Empa spin-off, the start-up company "MIRO Analytical" received one of the coveted "Innosuisse Certificates" in October. The certificate reflects the remarkable progress the young company made during the funding agency's coaching program and confirms that the ...


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Chemicals could undercut global plastics treaty

Plastic pollution: Scientists raise red flag


From 28 November to 2 December 2022, the UN intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) on plastic pollution will meet in Uruguay to develop an international legally binding instrument against plastic pollution. There is concern among scientists that the negotiations will overlook the diversity ...


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Water-activated paper battery among the world's best inventions

Simple idea with complex technology


Every year, TIME publishes a list of the most important inventions of the year. This year, Gustav Nyström and his team from Empa's Cellulose & Wood Materials Laboratory made it onto the list with their biodegradable disposable battery, which points the way to the future of environmentally ...


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Miniaturized infrared detectors

Integration on a chip: Tremendous effects on spectrometers of different kinds – and in various fields


Extreme miniaturization of infrared (IR) detectors is critical for their integration into next-generation consumer electronics, wearables and ultra-small satellites. Thus far, however, IR detectors have relied on bulky (and expensive) materials and technologies. A team of scientists lead by Empa ...


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Rubber production: Renewable cellulose-based fillers

New process brings together the worlds of cellulose and rubber


The substitution of petrochemical materials with those obtained from renewable raw materials is an important step towards increasing sustainability. In just two years of intensive and open collaboration between Empa and the Datwyler Schweiz AG as part of an Innosuisse project, a process was ...


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Flexible solar cells with record efficiency of 22.2%

Gaining power


One year after announcing an efficiency record, Empa scientists have achieved a new mark of 22.2% for flexible CIGS solar cell on polymer film. Solar cells of this type are especially suited for applications on buildings, vehicles, satellites, airships, and mobile devices. Empa researchers have – ...


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Green electronics made from wood

Sensors and actuators of the future


Sustainable electronic components can be made from wood with the help of a novel process that uses a laser to engrave electrically conductive structures on veneers. Aresearch team at Empa and at ETH’s Institute for Building Materials has developed a practical and versatile method for making ...


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In control of chaos: On the hunt for high entropy crystals

Special synthesis device can test many different chemical mixtures one after the other, as if on an assembly line


Crystals consisting of wildly mixed ingredients - so-called high-entropy materials - are currently attracting growing scientific interest. Their advantage is that they are particularly stable at extremely high temperatures and could be used, for example, for energy storage and chemical production ...


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