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Improved Catalyst May Translate to Petrochemical Production Gains

A New and Improved Zeolite Could Mean Greater Yield and Longer Lifecycles for Petrochemical Catalysts

29-Apr-2021

Aromatics are major building blocks of polymers, or plastics, that turn up as everything from PET bottles for water to breathable, wrinkle-resistant polyester clothing. These petrochemicals comprise a specialized, value-added sector of the energy industry. The process for refining crude oil into ...

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New clues help explain why PFAS chemicals resist remediation

Work suggests new avenues for cleaning up these 'forever chemicals'

21-Jan-2021

The synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are found in soil and groundwater where they have accumulated, posing risks to human health ranging from respiratory problems to cancer. New research from the University of Houston and Oregon State ...

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A safer, less expensive and fast charging aqueous battery

New anode for aqueous batteries allows use of cheap, plentiful seawater as an electrolyte

13-Jan-2021

Lithium-ion batteries are critical for modern life, from powering our laptops and cell phones to those new holiday toys. But there is a safety risk - the batteries can catch fire. Zinc-based aqueous batteries avoid the fire hazard by using a water-based electrolyte instead of the conventional ...

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Machine learning boosts the search for 'superhard' materials

Model predicts promising new materials

23-Dec-2020

Superhard materials are in high demand in industry, from energy production to aerospace, but finding suitable new materials has largely been a matter of trial and error based on classical materials such as diamonds. Until now. Researchers from the University of Houston and Manhattan College have ...

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Breakthrough in the development of magnesium batteries

New cathode, electrolyte allow high-power battery previously considered impossible

04-Dec-2020

Magnesium batteries have long been considered a potentially safer and less expensive alternative to lithium-ion batteries, but previous versions have been severely limited in the power they delivered. Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of North America ...

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Thermal vision of snakes inspires soft pyroelectric materials

26-Oct-2020

Converting heat into electricity is a property thought to be reserved only for stiff materials like crystals. However, researchers--inspired by the infrared (IR) vision of snakes--developed a mathematical model for converting soft, organic structures into so-called "pyroelectric" materials. The ...

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Inexpensive, non-toxic nanofluid could be a game-changer for oil recovery

The nanofluid is made from commercially available sodium using household blender

15-Sep-2020

Researchers from the University of Houston have demonstrated that an inexpensive and non-toxic nanofluid can be used to efficiently recover even heavy oil with high viscosity from reservoirs. The nanofluid, made in a common household blender using commercially available sodium, allowed for ...

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New catalyst efficiently produces hydrogen from seawater

13-Nov-2019

Seawater is one of the most abundant resources on earth, offering promise both as a source of hydrogen - desirable as a source of clean energy - and of drinking water in arid climates. But even as water-splitting technologies capable of producing hydrogen from freshwater have become more ...

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Researchers report high performance solid-state sodium-ion battery

Organic cathode offers more reliable contact with electrolyte, a key to stability

24-Apr-2019

Solid-state sodium-ion batteries are far safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which pose a risk of fire and explosions, but their performance has been too weak to offset the safety advantages. Researchers reported developing an organic cathode that dramatically improves both stability ...

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A smartphone system to test for lead in water

Can detect levels below EPA standards

28-Sep-2018

The discovery of lead in Flint, Michigan's drinking water drew renewed attention to the health risks posed by the metal. Now researchers at the University of Houston have created an inexpensive system using a smartphone and a lens made with an inkjet printer that can detect lead in tap water at ...

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