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April 1, 2013
Ken-ichi Tominaga and colleagues at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST; Tsukuba, Japan; www.aist.go.jp) have developed a hybrid catalyst system that can be used to convert cellulose into levulinic acid. The catalyst consists of two types of acid: indium(III) trifluoromethanesulfonate (In(OTf)3), a Lewis acid; and p-toluenesulfonic acid...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-hybrid-acid-catalyst-makes-levulinate-from-cellulose_10368.html
April 1, 2013
Detection of extremely small quantities of dangerous or hazardous substances is important in many areas, including national security, safety of public utilities and radiation prevention. Several analytical methods have been developed using structural, functional and electronic properties of nanomaterials. In particular, noble-metal quantum clusters (QCs), a family of nanomolecules exhibiting intense...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Quantum-clusters-serve-as-ultra-sensitive-detectors_10369.html
April 1, 2013
A new and inexpensive way to produce TiFe — an alloy with potential as a material for reversibly storing hydrogen — has been developed by the research groups of professors Zenji Horita and Etsuo Akiba at Kyushu University (Fukuoka, Japan; www.kyushu-u.ac.jp). The TiFe is made by a technique known...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-method-to-produce-an-iron-titanium-alloy-for-H2-storage_10371.html
April 1, 2013
Capacitive desalination, in which salt ions are electrically removed from saltwater, has been researched for decades as a potentially cheaper alternative to energy-intensive reverse osmosis (RO) and distillation, but so far its application has been limited to waters with very low salt concentrations. A new method, which may change that, is being developed by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-new-way-to-desalt-water-without-using-RO-or-distillation_10372.html
April 1, 2013
An Australian team has developed a structure made of a metal organic framework (MOF) that captures and then releases CO2 using natural sunlight. The team includes researchers from: CSIRO Division of Materials Science and Engineering, (Clayton South, Victoria; www.csiro.au) the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Monash University (www.monash.edu.au) and the School of Chemistry, University of Sydney...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/MOFs-that-reversibly-capture-CO2_10376.html
April 1, 2013
  Biosteel The worlds first artificial-silk fiber that is entirely made of recombinant spider-silk proteins has been produced by AMSilk GmbH (Planegg/Martinsreid, Germany; www.amsilk.com), a spin-off company of the Technical University of Munich. The fibers tensile strength is comparable to that of natural spider silk, and has thus been tradenamed Biosteel. Fiber prototypes are smooth to the touch...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/April-Chementator-Briefs_10377.html
April 1, 2013
A new plant for manufacturing sodium silicide (Na4Si4;diagram), a non-flammable, air-stable powder that reacts with water to generate pure hydrogen, is under development near Niagara Falls, N.Y. by SiGNa Chemistry Inc. (New York; signachem.com). Scheduled for startup in the third quarter of 2013, the facility will produce 1,000 ton/yr of sodium silicide using a proprietary thermal process that was...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Production-facility-for-stabilized-sodium-slated-for-startup_10378.html
March 1, 2013
Microwave irradiation of graphite has been shown to produce graphene oxide with 90% yield by the research group of professor Yuta Nishina, Research Core for...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Making-graphene-oxide-in-a-microwave_10242.html
March 1, 2013
Conventional methanation — the reaction of CO and H2 (synthesis gas) to form methane — has recently become important as a way to produce substitute natural gas (SNG) from gasified coal in regions of the world where natural gas is scarce (see Chem. Eng., August 2010, pp. 14–17). Now, an alternative methanation process, which produces CH4 directly from CO2 and H2, has been developed by...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-renewable-source-for-methane_10243.html
March 1, 2013
A team from Monash University (Melbourne, Australia; www.monash.edu.au) has prepared graphene monoliths with a cork-like hierarchical structure, exhibiting ultra-low density, superelasticity, good electrical conductivity and high efficiency of energy absorption. The ability to maintain structural integrity upon large deformation is important for many emerging applications, such as flexible electronic...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Making-cork-like-monoliths-from-graphene_10248.html
March 1, 2013
Existing metallurgical processes for titanium production from ilmenite — by far the most sought-after titanium ore — are plagued by disadvantages, mainly the generation of large amounts of waste, and improvements are needed to treat ilmenite for the production of high-grade TiO2 pigment. Now, a group from CSIRO Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship and CSIRO Process Science and...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-recipe-for-improved-Ti-extraction-from-ilmenite_10251.html
March 1, 2013
Researchers from Newcastle University (U.K.; www.ncl.ac.uk) have discovered that, in the presence of a nickel catalyst, CO2 can be rapidly and cheaply converted into solid carbonate salts. The discovery could lead to a simpler and less-expensive alternative for carbon capture and storage (CCS). Led by Lidija Šiller, a physicist and Reader in Nanoscale Technology, the researchers were investigating...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-step-toward-mineralizing-CO2-captured-from-fluegas_10256.html
March 1, 2013
Reductions in power consumption by over 30% have been observed at a full-scale formaldehyde production plant by introducing a new design in which a pressurization blower is replaced by a turbocharger that is powered by the exhaust gas from the emission control system (ECS). The plant using this design was developed by Perstorp Formox (Perstorp, Sweden; www.perstorpformox.com), in cooperation with MAN...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Replacing-a-pressurization-blower-with-a-turbocharger-reduces-energy-use_10257.html
March 1, 2013
An ultraviolet oxidation process for the destruction of water-borne organic contaminants that combines UV with chlorine, rather than hydrogen peroxide, is being developed by MIOX Corp. (Albuquerque, N.M.; www.miox.com). The company’s Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) promises to be less expensive than traditional AOP treatment methods, says Susan Rivera, manager of research and development. AOP...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-cheaper-way-to-destroy-organic-contaminants_10259.html
March 1, 2013
  Microelectrode Although antimony electrodes have been used for decades to measure pH, they only allow for measuring pH changes at a certain distance from electrodes or corroding surfaces. Now, researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw; www.ichf.edu.pl) have developed a way to make Sb microelectrodes, which enable measuring pH changes just over the...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/March-Chementator-Briefs_10262.html
March 1, 2013
An inexpensive and scalable process that uses supercritical (SC) liquids to make large quantities of graphene is being developed by the group of professor Itaru Honma at the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University (Sendai; db.tagen.tohoku.ac.jp), in collaboration with Showa...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-continuous-process-to-make-graphene_10264.html
March 1, 2013
Shu Kobayashi and his research group at the University of Tokyo (Japan; www.chem.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/users/synorg/index_e.html) have developed a ruthenium-silver nanocluster catalyst for the highly selective 1,4-addition reaction for the formation of asymmetric carbon-carbon bonds. Previously, the group had used its polymeric incarceration (PI) method to form metallic nanoclusters supported on a polystyrene-based...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-bi-metallic-nanocluster-catalyst-for-highly-selective-asymmetric-C-C-formation_10265.html
February 1, 2013
An Australian team has developed a new molecular sieve that allows carbon dioxide molecules to be trapped and stored. Contrary to the way molecular sieves usually work, allowing smaller molecules through, the new sieve acts like a trapdoor, and allows larger molecules through, blocking smaller ones. The team, led by professor Paul A. Webley of the University of Melbourne (Australia; www.unimelb.edu.au)...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/This-molecular-sieve-has-a-trapdoor-to-selectively-pass-CO2_10147.html
February 1, 2013
A water-recycling system for the oil-and-gas industries developed by Ecosphere Technologies Inc. (Stuart, Fla.; www.EcosphereTech.com) is designed to destroy bacteria and control corrosion in high-volume wastewater-treatment applications using a proprietary oxidation process. The technology, called Ozonix, improves the mass-transfer efficiency of ozone with a Venturi system in which negative pressure...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Oxidation-based-water-reuse-technology-that-improves-mass-transfer_10150.html
February 1, 2013
Nitrogen fixation The research groups of Yoshiaki Nishibayashi at the University of Tokyo (Japan; park.itc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/nishiba) and Kazunari Yoshizawa at Kyushu University (Fukuoka, Japan; trout.scc.kyushu-u.ac.jp/yoshizawaJ/indexe.html) have demonstrated the production of silylamine [N(SiMe3)3] from nitrogen gas using an iron-based catalyst. The reaction takes place at room temperature and pressure...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Chementator-Briefs_10153.html
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