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Chemists ID Catalytic 'Key' for Converting CO2 to Methanol

Results from experiments and computational modeling studies that definitively identify the "active site" of a catalyst commonly used for making methanol from CO2 will guide the design of improved catalysts for transforming this pollutant to useful chemicals.

Cryo-Electron Microscopy Achieves Unprecedented Resolution Using New Computational Methods

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM)--which enables the visualization of viruses, proteins, and other biological structures at the molecular level--is a critical tool used to advance biochemical knowledge. Now Berkeley Lab researchers have extended cryo-EM's impact further by developing a new computational algorithm instrumental in constructing a 3-D atomic-scale model of bacteriophage P22 for the first time.

New Study Maps Space Dust in 3-D

A new Berkeley Lab-led study provides detailed 3-D views of space dust in the Milky Way, which could help us understand the properties of this dust and how it affects views of distant objects.

Single-Angle Ptychography Allows 3D Imaging of Stressed Materials

Scientists have used a new X-ray diffraction technique called Bragg single-angle ptychography to get a clear picture of how planes of atoms shift and squeeze under stress.

New Feedback System Could Allow Greater Control Over Fusion Plasma

A physicist has created a new system that will let scientists control the energy and rotation of plasma in real time in a doughnut-shaped machine known as a tokamak.

Towards Super-Efficient, Ultra-Thin Silicon Solar Cells

Researchers from Ames Laboratory used supercomputers at NERSC to evaluate a novel approach for creating more energy-efficient ultra-thin crystalline silicon solar cells by optimizing nanophotonic light trapping.

Study IDs Link Between Sugar Signaling and Regulation of Oil Production in Plants

UPTON, NY--Even plants have to live on an energy budget. While they're known for converting solar energy into chemical energy in the form of sugars, plants have sophisticated biochemical mechanisms for regulating how they spend that energy. Making oils costs a lot. By exploring the details of this delicate energy balance, a group of scientists from the U.

High-Energy Electrons Probe Ultrafast Atomic Motion

A new technique synchronized high-energy electrons with an ultrafast laser pulse to probe how vibrational states of atoms change in time.

Rare Earth Recycling

A new energy-efficient separation of rare earth elements could provide a new domestic source of critical materials.

Two-Dimensional MXene Materials Get Their Close-Up

Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders.


Valerie Taylor Named Argonne National Laboratory's Mathematics and Computer Science Division Director

Computer scientist Valerie Taylor has been appointed as the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science division at Argonne, effective July 3, 2017.

Three SLAC Employees Awarded Lab's Highest Honor

At a March 7 ceremony, three employees of the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory were awarded the lab's highest honor ­- the SLAC Director's Award.

Dan Sinars Represents Sandia in First Energy Leadership Class

Dan Sinars, a senior manager in Sandia National Laboratories' pulsed power center, which built and operates the Z facility, is the sole representative from a nuclear weapons lab in a new Department of Energy leadership program that recently visited Sandia.

ORNL, HTS International Corporation to Collaborate on Manufacturing Research

HTS International Corporation and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have signed an agreement to explore potential collaborations in advanced manufacturing research.

Jefferson Lab Director Honored with Energy Secretary Award

Hugh Montgomery, director of the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), was awarded The Secretary's Distinguished Service Award by the Secretary of Energy earlier this year.

New Projects to Make Geothermal Energy More Economically Attractive

Geothermal energy, a clean, renewable source of energy produced by the heat of the earth, provides about 6 percent of California's total power. That number could be much higher if associated costs were lower. Now scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have launched two California Energy Commission-funded projects aimed at making geothermal energy more cost-effective to deploy and operate.

Southern Research Project Advances Novel CO2 Utilization Strategy

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy has awarded Southern Research nearly $800,000 for a project that targets a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly method of producing some of the most important chemicals used in manufacturing.

Harker School Wins 2017 SLAC Regional Science Bowl Competition

After losing its first match of the day to the defending champions, The Harker School's team won 10 consecutive rounds to claim victory in the annual SLAC Regional DOE Science Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative

Alexander brings extensive management and leadership experience in computational science research to the position.

Kalinin, Paranthaman Elected Materials Research Society Fellows

Two researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sergei Kalinin and Mariappan Parans Paranthaman, have been elected fellows of the Materials Research Society.


High-Energy Electrons Probe Ultrafast Atomic Motion

A new technique synchronized high-energy electrons with an ultrafast laser pulse to probe how vibrational states of atoms change in time.

Rare Earth Recycling

A new energy-efficient separation of rare earth elements could provide a new domestic source of critical materials.

Modeling the "Flicker" of Gluons in Subatomic Smashups

A new model identifies a high degree of fluctuations in the glue-like particles that bind quarks within protons as essential to explaining proton structure.

Rare Nickel Atom Has "Doubly Magic" Structure

Supercomputing calculations confirm that rare nickel-78 has unusual structure, offering insights into supernovas.

Microbial Activity in the Subsurface Contributes to Greenhouse Gas Fluxes

Natural carbon dioxide production from deep subsurface soils contributes significantly to emissions, even in a semiarid floodplain.

Stretching a Metal Into an Insulator

Straining a thin film controllably allows tuning of the materials' magnetic, electronic, and catalytic properties, essential for new energy and electronic devices.

How Moisture Affects the Way Soil Microbes Breathe

Study models soil-pore features that hold or release carbon dioxide.

ARM Data Is for the Birds

Scientists use LIDAR and radar data to study bird migration patterns, thanks to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility.

The Future of Coastal Flooding

Better storm surge prediction capabilities could help reduce the impacts of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes.

Estimating Global Energy Use for Water-Related Processes

Scientists find that water-related energy consumption is increasing across the globe, with pronounced differences across regions and sectors.


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Haslam Visits ORNL to Highlight State's Role in Discovering Tennessine

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Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

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More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

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Shannon Greco: A Self-Described "STEM Education Zealot"

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University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

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Innovations with Far-Reaching Potential for the Environment and Health 


Article ID: 620623

Released: 2014-07-29 11:00:00

Source Newsroom: American Chemical Society (ACS)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, 5 a.m. Eastern Time


Note to journalists: Please report that this research will be presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2014 — The Kavli Foundation Lecture series today features two prominent scientists: one in the booming area of ionic liquids, the other in medical materials. The former has made a novel compound with the potential to lower the energy it takes to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from smoke stacks. The latter has engineered tissues and medical materials such as a stretchy glue that could transform surgery. They will make presentations today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features nearly 12,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

Joan Brennecke, Ph.D., will deliver “The Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture.” She investigates and develops new substances called ionic liquids that are widely considered greener alternatives for a broad range of processes that currently use toxic solvents.

“The thing that makes ionic liquids special is that they don’t evaporate,” Brennecke says. “That means they won’t cause air pollution, and they’re essentially not flammable.”

One of the major global problems that ionic liquids could solve is how to capture the greenhouse gas, CO2, from power plants. And in an unanticipated development, Brennecke hit upon an exciting option around the same time President Obama announced his initiative to reduce emissions of the gas from power plants by 30 percent.

“It was total serendipity,” she says.

While studying one of the materials Brennecke’s team at the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame had developed, a graduate student accidentally turned the heat off during an experiment when it was supposed to be on — with an unexpected and elegant result.

That substance was solid at room temperature. But when CO2 was added, the substance grabbed onto the gas molecules and condensed into a liquid, effectively removing the CO2 from the air flow without adding heat. Brennecke explained that this process could dramatically reduce the energy required to capture CO2. The new substance from Brennecke’s lab can potentially do the same job using less than a quarter of a plant’s energy production, compared to current methods, which eat up nearly a third of the output.

Just prior to Brennecke’s lecture, Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D., will present “The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture.”

Khademhosseini is at the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, as well as the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

His research involves the development of micro- and nanoscale technologies to control cellular behavior and systems for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He is also developing innovative medical materials, including surgical sealants and injectable gels that could stop internal bleeding in a noninvasive way. For these applications, he uses protein-based hydrogels.

“For example, these materials could be used in lung surgery,” Khademhosseini explains. “If there’s a tumor, the surgeon cuts it out and can suture the site. But sutures don’t completely close the incision, so air and liquid can leak. To avoid these leaks, you need to put in some kind of sealant.”

The trick is making the sealant tough but stretchy. Khademhosseini’s team has developed a gel material that meets these criteria. And because it’s made out of a human protein, the gel shouldn’t raise the immune system’s alarms. The researchers are currently testing the sealant in animals.

Major funding for Brennecke’s work came from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy. Khademhosseini’s research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The two lecture series are a result of a collaboration between ACS and The Kavli Foundation, an internationally recognized philanthropic organization known for its support of basic scientific innovation.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

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# # #

CONTACT:


The Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture:

Joan Brennecke, Ph.D.

University of Notre Dame

311 Stinson Remick Hall

Notre Dame, IN 46556

Phone: 574-631-5847

Email: jfb@nd.edu

Website: http://www3.nd.edu/~jfb/

and

The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture:


Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D.

Biomaterials Innovation Research Center

Department of Medicine

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Cambridge, MA

Phone: 617-768-8395

Email: alik@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Website: http://www.tissueeng.net/lab/

Joan Brennecke, Ph.D.:

Title

How ionic liquids can contribute to global stewardship

Abstract

Ionic liquids (ILs) are low melting salts that are being designed, developed and explored for a myriad of applications. While it is possible to make ILs that are highly toxic (and these should certainly be avoided), their real potential for contributions to global stewardship are the applications. Here we will explore how the unique properties of ILs – low vapor pressure, good thermal stability, widely tunable solvation properties and chemical functionalization – make previously inaccessible products and processes possible. These include low energy separation of carbon dioxide from post-combustion flue gas, elimination of ozone depleting, global warming and flammable refrigerants, safer batteries and supercapacitors, chrome plating without exposure to highly toxic hexavalent chromium, homogeneous phase processing of biomass into chemicals and fuels, reactions and separations without fugitive emissions, non-volatile lubricants and heat transfer fluids, and more cost efficient harvesting of solar energy.

Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D.:

Title

Engineered hydrogel biomaterials for regenerative medicine applications

Abstract

Engineered materials that integrate advances in polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, and biological sciences have the potential to create powerful medical therapies. Our group aims to engineer tissue regenerative therapies using water-containing polymer networks, called hydrogels, that can regulate cell behavior. Specifically, we have developed photocrosslinkable hybrid hydrogels that combine natural biomolecules with nanoparticles to regulate the chemical, biological, mechanical and electrical properties of gels. These functional scaffolds induce the differentiation of stem cells to desired cell types and direct the formation of vascularized heart or bone tissues. Since tissue function is highly dependent on architecture, we have also used microfabrication methods, such as microfluidics, photolithography, bioprinting, and molding, to regulate the architecture of these materials. We have employed these strategies to generate miniaturized tissue modules. To create tissue complexity, we have also developed directed assembly techniques to compile small tissue modules into larger constructs. It is anticipated that such approaches will lead to the development of next-generation regenerative therapeutics and biomedical devices.