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Biomass the new petroleum?


Biomass-derived carbohydrates convert to alkenes using a one-pot technique that could lead to biomass refinery processes, say scientists in the US. Alkenes are extensively used in industry, but at present they are derived almost exclusively from petroleum resources. The petrochemical industry ...


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Carbon rising from the flames


Scientists in the US offer new insights into how polycyclic aromatic pollutants are formed in flames and other combustion processes. Peter Vollhardt and colleagues from the University of California, and William Karney from the University of San Francisco, in the US, use flash-vacuum-pyrolytic ...


Cracking a controversial solid state mystery


Scientists can easily explain the structural order that makes steel and aluminium out of molten metal. And they have discovered the molecular changes that take place as water turns to ice. But, despite the fact that glass blowers have been plying their trade since the first century BC, we have ...


Engineering algae to make fuel instead of sugar

Optics Express research describes how tiny organism can make biofuel


In pursuing cleaner energy there is such a thing as being too green. Unicellular microalgae, for instance, can be considered too green. In a paper in a special energy issue of Optics Express, the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley ...


Engineering nanoparticles for maximum strength


Because they are riddled with defects, bulk crystalline materials never achieve their ideal strength; nanocrystals, on the other hand, are so small there's no room for defects. Yet while nanocrystalline materials may approach ideal strength in their resistance to stress, most nanostructures have ...


Scientists reveal effects of quantum 'traffic jam' in high-temperature superconductors

Findings may point to new materials to get the current flowing at higher temperatures


Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, in collaboration with colleagues at Cornell University, Tokyo University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Colorado, have uncovered the first experimental evidence for why the transition ...


New metamaterials that bend light backwards bring invisibility cloaks 1 step closer


Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have for the first time engineered 3-D materials that can reverse the natural direction of visible and near-infrared light, a development that could help form the basis for higher resolution optical imaging, nanocircuits for high-powered ...


A Phonon Floodgate in Monolayer Carbon

The first STM spectroscopy of graphene flakes yields new surprises


Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley have performed the first scanning tunneling spectroscopy of graphene flakes equipped with a "gate" electrode. The result is the latest in a series of ...


Engineers create new adhesive that mimics gecko toe hairs


A new anti-sliding adhesive developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, may be the closest man-made material yet to mimic the remarkable gecko toe hairs that allow the tiny lizard to scamper along vertical surfaces and ceilings. Taking a cue from the millions of hairs ...


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Berkeley Scientists Bring MRI/NMR to Microreactors


In a significant step towards improving the design of future catalysts and catalytic reactors, especially for microfluidic "lab-on-a-chip" devices, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) at ...


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