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CO2 reduction aided by DNA

Electrochemically reducing carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide offers a pathway to use CO2 as a feedstock, but the reaction is challenging because it requires catalyst molecules and dissolved CO2 to meet on the electrode surface. One approach to help this…

Carbonized polymer membrane exhibits improved performance, stability

Organic-solvent nanofiltration (NF) uses membranes with tiny pores to remove dissolved molecules. “Although NF is more energy efficient than alternative separation methods, such as distillation, the majority of polymer-based membranes exhibit poor chemical stability,” says Rifan Hardian, a post-doctoral researcher…

Engineering soybean plants to increase crop yield

For the first time, researchers have proven that multigene bioengineering of photosynthesis increases the yield of the major food crop soybean in field trials. An international collaborative team of the RIPE project (Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency), led by the University…

Batteries not required for this smart gas mask

Researchers from Chung-Ang University (Seoul, South Korea; https://neweng.cau.ac.kr) have developed a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that is operable via breathing and can, therefore, be integrated into gas masks. The device is capable of powering LEDs and Bluetooth trackers, and can monitor…

Chementator Briefs [October 2022]

E-Cracking Last month, construction began on the world’s first demonstration plant for large-scale, electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. The demonstration plant will be fully integrated into one of the existing steam crackers at BASF’s Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. It…

This inorganic fiber-based paper passively cools buildings, vehicles and much more

A new paper material developed at Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.; www.northeastern.edu) is capable of passive cooling, potentially reducing the energy load required for air conditioning in buildings. “The paper is made from fibers of a calcium-based material called hydroxyapatite. The…

Two milestones for industrial solar-thermal production of fuels

In August, Synhelion S.A. (Lugano, Switzerland; www.synhelion.com) became the first company in the world to produce synthesis gas (syngas) on an industrial scale using only solar heat as an energy source. The milestone occurred on the multifocus solar tower of…

Rare-earth recovery from magnet scrap is being scaled up

Rare-earth materials are a crucial part of high-performance magnets in many electronic devices. Right now, only about 5% of these magnets are recycled, but tapping into end-of-life electronics is a promising and more sustainable source for rare-earth materials, the vast…

Compressing hydrogen from electrolyzers with a single stage

At Achema 2022 (Frankfurt am Main, Germany; August 22–26), a new compressor designed for hydrogen service was launched by Aerzen Machinenfabrik GmbH (Aerzen, Germany; www.aerzen.com). “We consider this solution to be the game changer in the market,” said Michael Leitsch,…

Business News: October 2022

Plant Watch Gevo breaks ground on commercial-scale SAF facility in South Dakota September 16, 2022 — Gevo, Inc. (Englewood, Colo.; www.gevo.com) announced the groundbreaking in South Dakota of its first commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility, Net-Zero 1 (NZ1). This…