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51 Current news of University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Industry-ready process makes plastics chemical from plant sugars

07-May-2019

Developing renewable, plant-based alternatives for petroleum-derived chemicals is a major piece of the effort to transition away from a fossil-fuel based economy toward a more sustainable and environmentally friendly bio-based economy. But integration of novel and unproven technology into ...

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Engineered microbe may be key to producing plastic from plants

08-Mar-2019

With a few genetic tweaks, a type of soil bacteria with an appetite for hydrocarbons shows promise as a biological factory for converting a renewable -- but frustratingly untapped -- bounty into a replacement for ubiquitous plastics. Researchers, like those at the University of ...

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'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

27-Jun-2018

Infrared cameras are the heat-sensing eyes that help drones find their targets even in the dead of night or through heavy fog. Hiding from such detectors could become much easier, thanks to a new cloaking material that renders objects -- and people -- practically invisible. "What we have shown is ...

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Bio-renewable process could help 'green' plastic

23-Jan-2018

When John Wesley Hyatt patented the first industrial plastic in 1869, his intention was to create an alternative to the elephant tusk ivory used to make piano keys. But this early plastic also sparked a revolution in the way people thought about manufacturing: What if we weren't limited to the ...

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Molecular magnetism packs power with 'messenger electron'

15-Nov-2017

Electrons can be a persuasive bunch, or at least, a talkative bunch, according to new work from John Berry's lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The spins of unpaired electrons are the root of permanent magnetism, and after 10 years of design and re-design, Berry's lab has made a molecule ...

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Thin photodetector could increase performance without adding bulk

Enabling optoelectronics advances

10-Jul-2017

In today's increasingly powerful electronics, tiny materials are a must as manufacturers seek to increase performance without adding bulk. Smaller also is better for optoelectronic devices -- like camera sensors or solar cells -- which collect light and convert it to electrical energy. Think, for ...

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Triple play boosting value of renewable fuel could tip market in favor of biomass

23-May-2017

Technologies for converting non-edible biomass into chemicals and fuels traditionally made from petroleum exist aplenty. But when it comes to attracting commercial interest, these technologies compete financially with a petroleum-based production pipeline that has been perfected over the course ...

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Air pollution increases attributable to air conditioning

05-May-2017

When summer temperatures rise and people turn to their air conditioners to stay cool, something else also increases: air pollution. A new study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology shows that the electricity production associated with air conditioning causes emissions of sulfur ...

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For first time, carbon nanotube transistors outperform silicon

06-Sep-2016

For decades, scientists have tried to harness the unique properties of carbon nanotubes to create high-performance electronics that are faster or consume less power -- resulting in longer battery life, faster wireless communication and faster processing speeds for devices like smartphones and ...

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Simulating complex catalysts key to making cheap, powerful fuel cells

11-Aug-2016

Using a unique combination of advanced computational methods, University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical engineers have demystified some of the complex catalytic chemistry in fuel cells -- an advance that brings cost-effective fuel cells closer to reality. "Understanding reaction mechanisms is the ...

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