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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 132 in category All (newest first):


Novel materials and technologies for urban farming

urban-farmingWith a growing sustainability movement around the globe, the concept of urban farming has gained huge popularity for the development of sustainable communities. Urban farming practices don't necessarily use the same practices as conventional farming; this is especially true for the more high-tech approaches taken in vertical farming and warehouse farming. There is an opportunity and a requirement for smart technologies and the use of novel materials in urban farming, which can contribute to building a higher productivity and more sustainable urban farms.

Jun 28th, 2022

Biodegradable electronic ink for recyclable printed electronics

e-inkThe goal of the electronics industry has always been to build durable devices with stable performance that last a very long time. Self-destructing, transient electronics however, are designed with the exact opposite goal: to dissolve harmlessly into their surroundings after functioning for a predetermined amount of time. Researchers now demonstrate novel biodegradable, recyclable, conductive, flexible, and printable materials that can be applied across many electronic devices to serve as a cornerstone for the development of ecofriendly and recyclable electronics.

Jun 22nd, 2022

Materials design for atmospheric water harvesting

water-harvestingScientists estimate that at any one instant, the Earth's atmosphere contains about 12 900 cubic kilometers of water vapor. Extracting water from the air, that is, atmospheric water harvesting(AWH), becomes a promising alternative technology to produce freshwater. Atmospheric water harvesting can be achieved through three different approaches: fog collection, dew harvesting, and sorbent-based AWH. Here is a review of the recent materials engineering-enabled water management strategies for improving AWH performance at different working conditions (i.e., saturated humidity, dew point, and unsaturated humidity).

Feb 24th, 2022

Sustainable batteries roadmap to 2030 and beyond

battery-technologyBATTERY 2030+ is a large-scale cross-sectoral European research initiative bringing together the most important stakeholders in the field of battery R+D to create a strong battery research and innovation ecosystem community. A goal of the project is to develop a long-term roadmap for battery research in Europe. This roadmap suggests research actions towards breakthrough technologies to radically transform the way to discover, develop, and design ultra-high-performance, durable, safe, sustainable, and affordable batteries for use in real applications.

Feb 9th, 2022

Pufferfish inspires solar-driven water purification

pufferfishAlthough solar-driven water evaporation using sunlight is a promising sustainable strategy, the water production rate via solar technologies remains insufficient to meet practical demands. Addressing this issue, researchers have developed a solar absorber gel to purify water from contaminated sources using only natural sunlight. The hydrogel can force liquid water out of the gel via phase transition when the sun warms the material, so the water purification mechanism does not require water evaporation.

Apr 13th, 2021

A novel method to detect nano-and microplastics in vivo

nematodeWhile plastic debris of any size is harmful to the marine flora and fauna, recent research suggests that the smallest of these plastics, nanoplastics, affect the composition and diversity of our intestinal microbiome and that this can cause damage to our health. A novel optical spectroscopy-based methodology in the VIS-NIR range, capable for differentiating between chemically different micro- and nanoplastics confined within invertebrate intestines. The technology is based on dark-field microscopy, which is capable of visualizing particles smaller than the bright-field optical microscopy resolution limit.

Dec 22nd, 2020

The superiority of single-layer molybdenum disulfide for water desalination

filtration-membraneResearchers show that a nanoporous MoS2 membrane allows a higher water flux compared with other 2D materials such as graphene, boron nitride and phosphorene. The team dug deeply into the physical reasons behind why MoS2 performed better than other two-dimensional materials in water desalination processes. Through molecular dynamics simulation, they found out that water density near a MoS2 membrane is lower compared to that near other materials, which indicates that water molecules were more likely to transport through the membrane instead of accumulating around it.

Jul 3rd, 2020

Combining data-driven science and computational chemistry can significantly accelerate materials discovery

Siloxanes - a class of manufactured silicone derivatives, also know as silicones - are widely used (with an annual volume of 2.8 million tonnes in 2018) in medicine and industrial applications, mostly though in cosmetics and personal care products. However, siloxanes can also be organic contaminants that are persistent and prone to bio accumulation, making it challenging to remove them from various environmental media. Developing suitable sorbents is a cost-effective solution for the removal of siloxanes and Machine Learning offers a powerful tool to identify the effective zeolites out of many millions.

Apr 21st, 2020