Sci/tech

New Efficient, Low-Temperature Catalyst for Converting Water and CO to Hydrogen Gas and CO2
June 22, 2017 02:33 PM - DOE / Brookhaven National Laboratory

Scientists have developed a new low-temperature catalyst for producing high-purity hydrogen gas while simultaneously using up carbon monoxide (CO). The discovery—described in a paper set to publish online in the journal Science on Thursday, June 22, 2017—could improve the performance of fuel cells that run on hydrogen fuel but can be poisoned by CO.

“This catalyst produces a purer form of hydrogen to feed into the fuel cell,” said José Rodriguez, a chemist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Rodriguez and colleagues in Brookhaven’s Chemistry Division—Ping Liu and Wenqian Xu—were among the team of scientists who helped to characterize the structural and mechanistic details of the catalyst, which was synthesized and tested by collaborators at Peking University in an effort led by Chemistry Professor Ding Ma.

UK Chemistry Researchers Develop Catalyst that Mimics the Z-Scheme of Photosynthesis
June 22, 2017 02:01 PM - University of Kentucky

A team of chemists from the University of Kentucky and the Institute of Physics Research of Mar del Plata in Argentina has just reported a way to trigger a fundamental step in the mechanism of photosynthesis, providing a process with great potential for developing new technology to reduce carbon dioxide levels.

Led by Marcelo Guzman, an associate professor of chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, and Ruixin Zhou, a doctoral student working with Guzman, the researchers used a synthetic nanomaterial that combines the highly reducing power of cuprous oxide (Cu2O) with a coating of oxidizing titanium dioxide (TiO2) that prevents the loss of copper (I) ion in the catalyst. The catalyst made of Cu2O/TiO2 has the unique ability to transfer electrons for reducing the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) while simultaneously breaking the molecule of water (H2O). The unique feature of this catalyst for electron transfer mimics the so called “Z-scheme” mechanism from photosynthesis.

UK Chemistry Researchers Develop Catalyst that Mimics the Z-Scheme of Photosynthesis
June 22, 2017 02:01 PM - University of Kentucky

A team of chemists from the University of Kentucky and the Institute of Physics Research of Mar del Plata in Argentina has just reported a way to trigger a fundamental step in the mechanism of photosynthesis, providing a process with great potential for developing new technology to reduce carbon dioxide levels.

Led by Marcelo Guzman, an associate professor of chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, and Ruixin Zhou, a doctoral student working with Guzman, the researchers used a synthetic nanomaterial that combines the highly reducing power of cuprous oxide (Cu2O) with a coating of oxidizing titanium dioxide (TiO2) that prevents the loss of copper (I) ion in the catalyst. The catalyst made of Cu2O/TiO2 has the unique ability to transfer electrons for reducing the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) while simultaneously breaking the molecule of water (H2O). The unique feature of this catalyst for electron transfer mimics the so called “Z-scheme” mechanism from photosynthesis.

Australian origin likely for iconic New Zealand tree
June 22, 2017 10:51 AM - University of Adelaide

Ancestors of the iconic New Zealand Christmas Tree, P?hutukawa, may have originated in Australia, new fossil research from the University of Adelaide suggests.

How protons move through a fuel cell
June 22, 2017 10:47 AM - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton conductivity is crucial for the latter; protons, i.e. positively charged hydrogen ions, are formed from hydrogen, which is used to power the fuel cell. Empa physicist Artur Braun and Qianli Chen, a doctoral student at ETH Zurich, conducted neutron scattering experiments on the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) that document the mobility of protons in the crystal lattice. In the process, they observed that the proton movements in ceramic fuel cells obey far more complex laws than previously assumed: The movement of the protons takes place according to the so-called polaron model, as the researchers recently reported in the renowned journal Nature Communications.

New Screen Coating Makes Reading in Sunlight a Lot Easier. The Secret? Moth Eyes.
June 22, 2017 10:39 AM - The Optical Society

Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices.

New Screen Coating Makes Reading in Sunlight a Lot Easier. The Secret? Moth Eyes.
June 22, 2017 10:39 AM - The Optical Society

Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices.

A lover's touch eases pain as heartbeats, breathing sync, CU study says
June 21, 2017 02:21 PM - University of Colorado Boulder

Fathers-to-be, take note: You may be more useful in the labor and delivery room than you realize.

That’s one takeaway from a study released last week that found that when an empathetic partner holds the hand of a woman in pain, their heart and respiratory rates sync and her pain dissipates.

“The more empathic the partner and the stronger the analgesic effect, the higher the synchronization between the two when they are touching,” said lead author Pavel Goldstein, a postdoctoral pain researcher in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at CU Boulder.

The study of 22 couples, published in the journal Scientific Reports last week, is the latest in a growing body of research on “interpersonal synchronization,” the phenomenon in which individuals begin to physiologically mirror the people they’re with.

PNNL helping to design tomorrow's exascale supercomputers
June 21, 2017 02:14 PM - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Supercomputers help design automobiles and aircraft, create new medical drugs and discover the mysteries of the universe. Now, in a column for the Tri-City Herald, the director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Steve Ashby, introduces a new national collaboration to take supercomputers to the next level of performance.

PNNL helping to design tomorrow's exascale supercomputers
June 21, 2017 02:14 PM - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Supercomputers help design automobiles and aircraft, create new medical drugs and discover the mysteries of the universe. Now, in a column for the Tri-City Herald, the director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Steve Ashby, introduces a new national collaboration to take supercomputers to the next level of performance.

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