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Tiny helpers turn waste into valuable materials

Leaving oil behind and moving towards renewable raw materials: the chemical industry hopes to succeed in this with the help of microorganisms and enzymes

15-Sep-2020

The idea is that bacteria shouldn’t only convert waste products into valuable chemicals, but also draw energy from them. After all, they too can be reused for subsequent processes. This vision is what drives Professor Dirk Tischler, who heads the Microbial Biotechnology research group at ...

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Making enzymes fit for industrial applications

Biobased process for ammonia production

27-Aug-2020

Bacterial enzymes are often powerful but also very sensitive catalysts. To call up their performance, they therefore need a special environment. Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have developed new techniques for efficiently coupling bacterial enzymes to electrodes. Together with a ...

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Challenges in the development of electrocatalysts

What would have to change in research to develop efficient, stable and selective catalysts for industrial application?

21-Aug-2020

Efficient catalysts are crucial for energy conversion. However, findings from basic research rarely make it into practice at present. Regenerative energy harvesting often generates more electricity than is directly needed. Electrochemical processes could be used to store the excess energy or make ...

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New kind of interaction discovered in hydrogen-producing enzymes

The findings should help to develop more efficient miniaturised hydrogenase catalysts in the future

18-Aug-2020

In hydrogenase enzymes, the transports of protons and electrons have been considered to be separate events until now. However, coupling is the key to success here. Hydrogenases can convert hydrogen just as efficiently as expensive platinum catalysts. In order to make them usable for ...

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Selective conversion of reactive lithium compounds made possible

Until now, unwanted by-products have always been produced during the reactions - The catalyst opens up new applications

14-Aug-2020

Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a new catalyst that can catalyse reactions to produce pharmaceuticals or chemicals used in agriculture. It creates carbon-carbon bonds between what are known as organolithium compounds without creating any unwanted by-products. The team led by ...

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Programmable synthetic materials

In the future, MOFs could form the basis of programmable chemical molecules

10-Aug-2020

In DNA, information is stored in the sequence of chemical building blocks; in computers, information consists of sequences of zeros and ones. Researchers want to transfer this concept to artificial molecules. Artificial molecules could one day form the information unit of a new type of computer ...

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Insights into the structure of an enigmatic catalyst

05-Aug-2020

In the past, the catalyst for the production of methanol had eluded all attempts to clarify its surface structure. Now researchers have learned more about its active site. Methanol is one of the most important basic chemicals used, for example, to produce plastics or building materials. To render ...

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Water molecules are gold for nanocatalysis

Some catalysts show remarkable high activity - Thanks to water

28-Jul-2020

Nanocatalysts made of gold nanoparticles dispersed on metal oxides are very promising for the industrial, selective oxidation of compounds, including alcohols, into valuable chemicals. They show high catalytic activity, particularly in aqueous solution. A team of researchers from Ruhr-Universität ...

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Algae as living biocatalysts for a green industry

Discovery could lead to more environmental protection in the chemical industry

03-Jul-2020

Many substances that we use every day only work in the right 3D structure. Natural enzymes could produce these in an environmentally friendly way – if they didn’t need a co-substrate that is expensive to produce to date. A research team at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has discovered exactly the ...

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New chemistry for ultra-thin gas sensors

New process for zinc oxide layers that can be used for nitrogen oxide sensors as well as protection layer on plastic

02-Jul-2020

The application of zinc oxide layers in industry is manifold and ranges from the protection of degradable goods to the detection of toxic nitrogen oxide gas. Such layers can be deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) which employs typically chemical compounds, or simply precursors, which ...

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