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TECH SPACE
A new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals
by Staff Writers
Sendai, Japan (SPX) Jul 27, 2017


Synthesis schemes of (a) conventional carbonaceous catalysts and (b) this work for ordered carbonaceous frameworks. Image courtesy Hirotomo Nishihara.

Researchers have developed a new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals for versatile chemical reactions that could help address environmental concerns. Noble metals such as platinum are useful as catalysts for versatile chemical reactions including fuel cell vehicles and reduction of CO2 emission. However, they are too costly to be used for these purposes.

As inexpensive alternatives, organic-based catalysts and carbonaceous catalysts were explored, but were ultimately found to be impractical. This was because organic-based catalysts tend to be active but unstable, while carbonaceous catalysts are stable but less active.

In this work, researchers believe they have found a solution by developing a new synthesis route for intermediate materials of organic-based catalysts and carbonaceous catalysts.

While conventional carbonaceous catalysts have amorphous carbonaceous structures that cause a decline in catalytic activities (Fig. 1a), the new synthesis route enables the formation of carbonaceous catalysts with controlled chemical structures like organic-based catalysts (Fig. 1b). This synthesis route is capable of developing alternative catalysts of noble metals for many eco-friendly technologies such as fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen generation from water and CO2 reduction.

Research paper

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Making telescopes that curve and twist
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 24, 2017
A new tool for computational design allows users to turn any 3D shape into a collapsible telescoping structure. New mathematical methods developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University capture the complex and diverse properties of such structures, which are valuable for a variety of applications in 3D fabrication and robotics--particularly where mechanisms must be compact in size and easi ... read more

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