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Arsenic and algae: finding sustainable water purification systems

Arsenic and algae: finding sustainable water purification systems

A University of New Mexico undergraduate engineering student thinks algae could solve the problem of arsenic contamination in water.Chase Stearnes said he got the idea after hearing about researchers who were able to use algae to collect and harvest gold from water samples.“I heard about that research and thought ‘ok, what else can we do with that?’ and I’m interested in rural communities and developing water resources,” Stearnes said.“So, I combined those two into the idea of creating an algal biofilm treatment system that could possibly help communities in places like India and Bangladesh.” Read More

New efficient Catalyst for key step in artificial photosynthesis

Chemists at the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have designed a new catalyst that speeds up the rate of a key step in “artificial photosynthesis”—an effort to mimic how plants, algae, and some bacteria harness sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into energy-rich fuels. This step—called water oxidation—releases protons and electrons from water molecules, producing oxygen as a byproduct.This “single-site” catalyst—meaning the entire reaction sequence takes place on a single catalytic site of one molecule—is the first to match the efficiency of the catalytic sites that drive this reaction in nature. Read More

Green functionalisation of carbon-hydrogen bonds

National University of Singapore (NUS) chemists have developed a light enhanced, nickel catalysed method for carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bond functionalisation in organic molecules.The replacement of “H” in C–H bonds with other atoms or substituents is one of the most coveted ways to create new and useful molecules. However, while the C-H bond can be found in most organic molecules, it is considered inactive and therefore difficult to functionalise. C-H bond functionalisation refers to the substitution of the hydrogen atom in the C-H bond with another functional group, such as an alkene, alkyne etc. Read More

New catalyst design to reduce Nitrogen Oxides in diesel exhaust

Researchers have discovered a new reaction mechanism that could be used to improve catalyst designs for pollution-control systems to further reduce emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust.The research focuses on a type of catalyst called zeolites, workhorses in petroleum and chemical refineries and in emission-control systems for diesel engines.New catalyst designs are needed to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides, or NOx, because current technologies only work well at relatively high temperatures. Read More

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Arsenic and algae: finding sustainable water purification systems


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