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UT Dallas Engineers Twist Nanofibers To Create Structures Tougher Than Bullet Proof Vests

Researchers at UT Dallas have created materials that exploit the electromechanical properties of specific nanofibers to stretch to up to seven times their length, while remaining tougher than Kevlar.

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Novel Plastic Could Spur New Green Energy Applications, ‘Artificial Muscles’

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A plastic used in filters and tubing has an unusual trait: It can produce electricity when pulled or pressed. This ability has been used in small ways, but now researchers are coaxing fibers of it to make even more electricity for a wider range of applications from green energy to “artificial muscles.” They will report progress on a novel form of this plastic at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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ORNL-Led Team Demonstrates Desalination with Nanoporous Graphene Membrane

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Desalination is an energy-intensive process, which concerns those wanting to expand its application. Now, a team of experimentalists led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated an energy-efficient desalination technology that uses a porous membrane made of strong, slim graphene—a carbon honeycomb one atom thick. The results are published in the March 23 advance online issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

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Rare-Earth Innovation to Improve Nylon Manufacturing

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The Critical Materials Institute, a U.S. Department of Energy Innovation Hub led by the Ames Laboratory, has created a new chemical process that makes use of the widely available rare-earth metal cerium to improve the manufacture of nylon.

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Food Additive Could Serve as a Safer, More Environmentally Friendly Antifreeze

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The sweet taste and smell of antifreeze tempts children and animals to drink the poisonous substance, resulting in thousands of accidental poisonings in the United States every year. But today researchers will describe a new, nontoxic product based on a common food additive that could address this health issue and help the environment at the same time.

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Algae From Clogged Waterways Could Serve as Biofuels and Fertilizer

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Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists will report today that they are working on a way to clean up these environmental scourges and turn them into useful products. The algae could serve as a feedstock for biofuels, and the feedstock leftovers could be recycled back into farm soil nutrients.

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Press Conference Schedule of the 249th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, March 22-26, 2015

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Squeeze to Remove Heat: Elastocaloric Materials Enable More Efficient, ‘Green’ Cooling

In the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, a team of researchers from Technical University of Denmark report that the elastocaloric effect opens the door to alternative forms of solid-state refrigeration that are direct replacements for vapor compression technology.

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"Goldilocks Material" Could Change Spintronics

Attempting to develop a novel type of permanent magnet, a team of researchers at Trinity College has discovered a new class of magnetic materials based on Mn-Ga alloys. Described as a zero-moment half metal this week in the journal Applied Physics Letters, the new Mn2RuxGa magnetic alloy has some unique properties that give it the potential to revolutionize data storage and significantly increase wireless data transmission speeds.

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More Flavorful, Healthful Chocolate Could Be on Its Way

Chocolate has many health benefits — it can potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce stroke risk. But just as connoisseurs thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s this tasty new tidbit: Researchers have found a way to make the treat even more nutritious –– and sweeter. They will describe their research here today at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.