Turning Houses and Roads into Limitless Batteries
Searching the Internet to bring you the latest Chemistry News!
Here are 10 recent discoveries:
1. Turning Houses and Roads into Limitless Batteries
A new technology that could revolutionize the way we store and use energy.
Electrified cement is a new type of cement that can store electricity made with carbon nanotubes, which are very conductive and can store a lot of energy.
The carbon nanotubes are embedded in the cement in a way that allows them to conduct electricity without compromising the strength of the cement.
Electrified cement could help to store renewable energy more efficiently, and it could make electric vehicles more affordable.
It could also be used to power homes and buildings, and to create a more sustainable infrastructure.
There are still some challenges that need to be addressed before electrified cement can be widely adopted.
The researchers need to find a way to make the supercapacitors more energy-dense, and they need to develop a way to manufacture the technology at a cost-effective scale.
Source - Electrified cement could turn houses and roads into nearly limitless batteries
2. New Method for Synthesizing Heterocycles from Cycloalkanols
Heterocycles are organic compounds that contain one or more atoms other than carbon in their ring structure.
They are a very diverse group of compounds, and they have a wide range of applications.
The new method described in the study published in Organic Letters uses a process called nitrogen insertion to synthesize heterocycles from cycloalkanols.
Nitrogen insertion is a reaction that inserts a nitrogen atom into a carbon-carbon bond.
The new method is more efficient, produces less waste, and is more environmentally friendly.
The new method is still in the early stages of development, and there are some challenges that need to be addressed before it can be widely adopted.
For example, the yield of the reaction is not always high, and the method can be difficult to scale up.
Source - From Cycloalkanols to Heterocycles via Nitrogen Insertion
3. Producing Ammonia from Waste Nitrates
The electrochemical reduction of nitric acid (NO3−) to ammonia (NH3) is a promising route for the production of ammonia from waste nitrates.
Atomically dispersed metal-nitrogen-carbon (M-N-C) catalysts have shown promise for this reaction, but the reaction mechanisms and optimal catalyst design are not yet fully understood.
In this study, the authors synthesized a set of 14 M-N-C catalysts with different transition metals, including 3d, 4d, 5d, and f-block metals.
They investigated the activity and selectivity of these catalysts for the NO3− reduction reaction, and they also used density functional theory (DFT) calculations to study the reaction mechanisms.
The results showed that the NO3− reduction reaction over M-N-C catalysts is a complex process involving several intermediate species.
The authors found that the activity and selectivity of the catalysts depend on the metal type, the metal coordination environment, and the reaction conditions.
The results of this study provide new insights into the NO3− reduction reaction over M-N-C catalysts.
The authors' findings could be used to design more efficient and selective catalysts for this reaction.
Source - Elucidating electrochemical nitrate and nitrite reduction over atomically-dispersed transition metal sites
4. Revolutionizing Chemistry: Machine Learning Enhances Decades-Old Hammett Equation
An 80-year-old chemical theory, the Hammett equation, is undergoing a remarkable transformation through the power of machine learning.
The Hammett equation, developed by Louis Hammett in 1937, explains how aromatic substituents impact reaction rates.
Each substituent could be given an σ value representing their electron-donating or withdrawing effect.
A group of Brazilian researchers has combined density functional theory (DFT) methods and machine learning algorithms to refine and make this equation even more accurate.
The researchers have generated 219 σ values, including 92 new ones.
This approach also computed Hammett constants for substituents that were previously only experimentally determined.
Although experts emphasize the need for more data, this fusion of chemistry and machine learning holds promise for more precise experimentation.
Source - 86-year old Hammett equation gets a machine learning update
5. Hydrogen Production More Viable with New Electrocatalyst
Hydrogen is a clean and efficient fuel, but its production is currently expensive and energy-intensive.
One promising method for producing hydrogen is electrochemical water splitting, which uses an electrocatalyst to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
A team of researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China have developed a new electrocatalyst that is made of nanoneedles.
The nanoneedles are formed by doping a bimetallic nickel-cobalt phosphide (Ni-Co-P) with molybdenum (Mo).
The Mo doping creates a unique microstructure that enhances the activity of the electrocatalyst.
The new electrocatalyst is able to produce hydrogen at a rate that is twice as fast as the previous state-of-the-art electrocatalysts.
It is also more stable and can operate at a wider range of pH values.
The new electrocatalyst could make electrochemical water splitting a more viable option for producing hydrogen.
This could help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and make hydrogen a more affordable and accessible fuel.
Source - Nanoneedles formed on an electrocatalyst improve hydrogen production
6. Why Some Alloys Don’t Expand When Heated
Some alloys, such as Invar, do not expand when heated.
This phenomenon is called the Invar effect, first discovered in the late 19th century.
The Invar effect is not limited to iron-nickel alloys. It has also been observed in other alloys, such as those containing iron, lead, and platinum.
The underlying mechanism, which is caused by the interplay of magnetism and atomic vibrations, was not fully understood until recently.
At low temperatures, the magnetic moments of the iron and nickel atoms in Invar are aligned, which causes the atoms to be tightly packed together.
This counteracts the natural tendency of atoms to expand when heated.
At higher temperatures, the magnetic order breaks down, and the atoms are able to get closer together.
This cancels out the expansion caused by the increased atomic vibrations.
The Invar effect is becoming increasingly important as engineers look for ways to create materials with stable dimensions over a wide range of temperatures, such as in watches and other precision instruments.
Source - We Finally Know Why Some Alloys Don’t Expand When Heated
7. New Method for Chiral Amine Synthesis Could Reduce Environmental Impact
Scientists have developed a new way to synthesize chiral amines, which are important chemical building blocks for a variety of products, using an eco-friendly enzyme.
The enzyme, called ene-reductase, is naturally found in plants and other organisms.
It can be activated by light, which makes it a promising candidate for use in biomanufacturing.
The researchers used the enzyme to convert a simple molecule called acrylamide into a chiral amine.
This reaction is difficult to achieve using traditional methods, but the enzyme was able to do it efficiently and with high selectivity.
The new method could be used to produce chiral amines on a large scale in a more sustainable way.
This could have a significant impact on the production of a variety of products, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, and cosmetics.
Source - Exploring an eco-friendly enzyme to create key chemical building blocks
8. Lignin Extraction Method Could Help Reduce Environmental Impact
Lignin is a complex organic polymer that is the second most abundant renewable carbon source on Earth.
It is found in all vascular plants, where it forms cell walls and provides plants with rigidity.
Lignin is also a promising precursor for biobased materials and fuels, but it is difficult and expensive to extract from plants.
A new method to extract lignin has been developed that could make this renewable material more profitable.
The method uses a solvent called dimethyl carbonate (DMC) to dissolve lignin from plant biomass.
DMC is a non-toxic and biodegradable solvent that is also relatively inexpensive.
The new method was able to extract lignin from wheat straw with high yields and purity.
The lignin produced was also color-neutral, odorless, and homogenous.
These properties make it a more viable candidate for development of high-value products, such as composites, adhesives, and plastics.
The new method for extracting lignin could help to make this renewable material more competitive with petroleum-based materials.
This could have a significant impact on the global economy and environment.
Source - Lignin separation method could make renewable material profitable, research suggests
9. New Carbon Material Could Help Solve Global Water Crisis
Scientists have developed a new material called fullerene-pillared porous graphene (FPPG) that has a high capacity for water adsorption.
FPPG is made by filling the pores of graphene with fullerenes, which are molecules made up of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere.
The fullerenes in FPPG create large, uniform nanopores that allow water molecules to easily enter and exit the material.
This makes FPPG a promising candidate for use in water purification, desalination, and other applications where water adsorption is required.
The researchers found that FPPG with 25% fullerene had the highest water vapor adsorption capacity at 40% relative humidity.
This is significantly higher than the adsorption capacity of other porous materials, such as activated carbon.
The researchers believe that FPPG could be used to develop new water purification technologies that are more efficient and cost-effective than current methods.
Source - Fullerene-pillared porous graphene with high water adsorption capacity
10. New Method for Upcycling Plastic Waste Uses Electrocatalysis
Electrocatalysiscan be used to functionalize C(sp3)–H bonds along a polymer chain, which can then be modified using click chemistry and upcycled into a new material.
The electrocatalysis process is powered by sunlight, which makes it sustainable.
This is a promising new approach to upcycling plastic waste, as it does not require the use of harmful chemical oxidants.
It also does not produce harmful side products, which is an advantage over other methods of polymer functionalization.
The research team has demonstrated that the process works on a variety of polymers, including Styrofoam.
They are also working to expand the work to other functional groups.
Overall, the research presented in this article is a promising step towards developing a sustainable and scalable method for upcycling plastic waste.
Source - Polymer upcycling strategy adds azide groups with electrocatalysis
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