How can we anticipate and design out environmental impacts of new technologies when they are at an early stage of development? A new issue of Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology presents cutting-edge research on the environmental assessment of emerging technologies.
Organic boronic acids are widely used as starting material in the synthesis of various useful chemicals. But, some organic boronic acids are unstable and lead to unwanted 'side reactions.' Thus, they need to be protected with a functional group, which needs to be removed afterwards. A research team from Tokyo University of Science recently uncovered how this unnecessary step (removal of the functional group) could be avoided--showing how to make this process much easier and cheaper.
Researchers at the University Of Liverpool, in collaboration with NUI Galway and TU Berlin, have identified the key technological and scientific challenges of producing hydrogen through seawater electrolysis.
Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) and the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a novel approach for preparing thin semiconductor fullerene films. The method enables fabrication of organic electronics without using toxic organic solvents and costly vacuum technologies, thus reducing the environmental risks and making organic electronics more accessible. The results of their study were published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C.
Researchers from Osaka University have shown that the enantioselective organocatalyzed Rauhut-Currier and [3+2] annulation sequence in a microflow system can rapidly produce functionalized chiral spirooxindoles (up to 89% yield, 98% ee) within one minute. Although conventional methods for developing a flow synthesis procedure can be costly and labor-intensive, the researchers efficiently optimized multiple parameters by applying a machine learning algorithm. This unique approach may help realize novel synthetic routes in flow systems.
Researchers have demonstrated a new, green technology for both accelerated screening and retrieving 'switchable' solvents used in green chemistry applications. The new approach makes the screening process hundreds of times faster and drastically accelerates the rate at which solvents can be retrieved from solution.
UQ researchers have set a world record for the conversion of solar energy to electricity via the use of tiny nanoparticles called 'quantum dots'. The technology has a huge range of potential applications, including the possibility to use it as a flexible, transparent skin to power cars, planes, homes and wearable technology.
Engineers from Duke University are reporting results from the first large-scale, real-world field trials of critical components of their off-grid sanitation system funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's 'Reinvent the Toilet' program. Besides being pleasantly surprised at the longevity of their system and discovering their nutrient removal processes needed improvement, the Duke researchers were reminded of just how important cultural practices can be to the success of a global engineering challenge.
Graphene has attracted the interest of researchers in recent years because, despite its apparent anti-corrosive properties, its proximity was seen to increase the corrosion of copper. A research team from Chung-Ang University used Raman spectroscopy to analyze graphene's properties over a long period and found that the corroded surface of copper forms a hybrid layer with graphene, which prevents further corrosion. These findings could have potential applications in extending the life of copper--a common component of various electronic devices.
An international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals: some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world -- well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates. For about a third of these substances, there is a lack of publicly accessible information.