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Fine-tuned hydrocarbon separation at low energy cost

Metal organic framework membranes that selectively separate hydrocarbons set the stage for more sustainable petrochemical processes

24-Sep-2021

An electrochemical approach developed at KAUST produces molecular-sieving membranes that could enable a cheap energy-efficient separation of light hydrocarbons, such as olefins and paraffins. This separation, critical for the petrochemical industry, usually relies on extremely energy-intensive ...

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Electrochemical cell harvests lithium from seawater

The system offers an economical way to source essential battery material

07-Jun-2021

Lithium is a vital element in the batteries that power electric vehicles, but soaring lithium demand is expected to exhaust land-based reserves by 2080. KAUST researchers have now developed an economically viable system that can extract high-purity lithium from seawater. The oceans contain about ...

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Recruiting bacteria to build catalysts atom by atom

An enigmatic bacterium proves a useful ally for the synthesis of single-atom catalysts to split hydrogen from water

02-Jun-2021

Exploiting the unusual metal-reducing ability of the iron-breathing bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens, KAUST researchers have demonstrated a cheap and reliable way to synthesize highly active single-atom catalysts. The innovation, which could dramatically improve the efficiency and cost of ...

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Understanding aromaticity in catalysis to unlock new opportunities

"Our discovery is not about identifying a new or better catalyst for a known reaction, but about opening a new field for unlimited new opportunities in the future"

05-May-2021

Aromaticity, a concept usually used to explain the striking stability and unusual reactivity of certain carbon-based molecules, could inspire the design of new catalysts with novel uses, KAUST researchers have shown. Chemists first came upon the anomalous behavior of aromatic molecules in the ...

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A cool chemical separation technology

A diverse category of porous materials can separate and purify key industrial chemicals at low temperatures

11-Mar-2021

Gas and liquid separation processes in the chemical industry could be made more efficient and environmentally friendly by using substances known as intrinsically porous materials (IPMs). KAUST researchers review the prospects for IPMs in the journal Accounts of Chemical Research. Niveen Khashab ...

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Hot electrons send CO2 back to the future

Catalyst nanoparticles trap an unprecedented range of wavelengths of light to convert carbon dioxide into methane.

05-Mar-2021

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major driver of global warming, but this gas could also serve as a valuable resource. Researchers at KAUST have developed an efficient catalyst that uses light energy to convert CO2 and hydrogen into methane (CH4). This counteracts the release of CO2 when ...

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Separating gases using flexible molecular sieves

04-Dec-2020

Researchers at the University of Liverpool and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have made reported some exciting findings relating to metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a class of porous materials, which could benefit a wide range of important gas separation ...

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A question of affinity

How to design organic solar cell materials

29-Oct-2020

A collaboration of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Germany and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have recently scrutinized organic solar cells and derived design rules for light-absorbing dyes that can help to ...

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Lighting the path to recycling carbon dioxide

Combining solar-harvesting materials with carbon-dioxide–consuming microbes could be an efficient way to generate clean fuels

07-Oct-2020

Semiconductive photocatalysts that efficiently absorb solar energy could help reduce the energy required to drive a bioelectrochemical process that converts CO2 emissions into valuable chemicals, KAUST researchers have shown. Recycling CO2 could simultaneously reduce carbon emissions into the ...

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Computers excel in chemistry class

Machine learning models can rapidly and accurately estimate key chemical parameters related to molecular reactivity

27-Aug-2020

Creating computers that can teach themselves how chemical structure dictates the fundamental properties of molecules and then using that knowledge to predict the properties of novel molecules could help to design cleaner energy and industrial systems. KAUST researchers have developed a machine ...

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