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News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: phys.org

Researching towards a more efficient hydrogen production: Stefan Barwe and his colleagues. Credit: RUB, Kramer Chemists at the Centre for Electrochemical Sciences at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a catalyst with self-healing properties. Under the challenging conditions of water electrolysis for hydrogen production, the catalyst material regenerates itself, as long as the components required for this are present in the electrolyte solution. A team involving Stefan Barwe, Prof Dr Wolfgang Schuhmann and Dr Edgar Ventosa from the Bochum Chair of Analytical Chemistry reports on this in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The work took place as part of the cluster of excellence Resolv. Hydrogen is considered an energy source of the future. However, finding stable and efficient catalysts to synthesise it is a challenge. This synthesis takes place using water electrolysis, with hydrogen created at one electrode and oxygen at the other. The electrodes are covered with a catalyst film, which is attacked during the reaction and becomes less effective. In a feasibility study, the Bochum chemists demonstrated a new way of creating a highly stable catalyst film. They added catalyst nanoparticles in the form of a powder to the solution, which surrounds the electrodes. The particles pumped through the electrode chambers collide with the electrode surface; there, a particle film forms based on electrostatic attraction forces. Particles with a positively charged surface are deposited on the anode and particles with a negatively charged surface on the cathode. The catalyst film thus forms by itself. Via the same mechanism, the catalyst surface regenerated during the reaction. New nanoparticles from the solution moved to the electrodes, where they freshened up the worn catalyst film. This self-healing effect lasted as long as catalyst particles were present in the solution. The researchers worked with nickel electrodes. They tested two different catalyst powders for the two electrodes, one a nickel-based material and one a cobalt-based material. All of the catalyst materials formed a film a few micrometres thick on the electrodes, as electron-microscopic captures confirmed. The measurements also showed that functional systems formed that produced hydrogen in a stable manner over several days. In further studies, the chemists now want to investigate more closely the influence of particle shape and size as well as the influence of the electrolyte solution on the efficiency and stability of the catalysts. Explore further: Converting water into hydrogen more efficiently More information: Stefan Barwe et al. Overcoming the instability of nanoparticle based catalyst films in alkaline electrolysers by self-assembling and self-healing films, Angewandte Chemie (2017). DOI: 10.1002/ange.201703963


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

"The new analytical development will increase the number of molecules that can be examined six-fold, giving scientists a more detailed look into the chemical changes crude oil undergoes in a spill," said Paolo Benigni, Ph.D. candidate in FIU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and lead author of the study. "This work opens the door to answering complex chemical questions about how molecules change in the environment."  The new tool could change how oil spills are cleaned up in the future since officials will have more and better information. According to the researchers, officials would be able to predict toxicity of spilled oil, how far it might travel and how long it would likely stay in the environment. "By dissecting crude oil composition down to their molecular level, we can better understand how it interacts with the environment, leading to better oil spill remediation strategies and more efficient environmental policies," said chemist Francisco Fernandez-Lima, director of the project. Traditional analytical technologies have mainly restricted scientists to information related to the mass of crude oils. The new tool combines techniques, allowing scientists to simultaneously examine crude oil molecules by mass, size and shape without the need of lengthy sample preparation and separation steps. One of the techniques — trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) — was developed by Fernandez-Lima in collaboration with Bruker Daltonics Inc. Fernandez-Lima has been pioneering the use of the coupled technique for a variety of environmental and biomedical applications since 2010. By combining techniques, the researchers have developed a new analytical tool that can be used for more than just oil spills. Scientists can use it to study other contaminants in diverse water and land environments. With oil accounting for a large percentage of the world's energy consumption, accidents with drilling, production and transportation are always a possibility. Improved remediation techniques are always the goal. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the researchers' findings were recently published in Environmental Science & Technology. Preliminary findings related to this study were published in Analytical Chemistry and Journal of Visualized Experiments. FIU launched the Center for Aquatic Chemistry and the Environment in 2016 in an effort to better detect contaminants, understand their effects on the environment, predict future contamination and design remediation strategies. Funded by a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology program, the center is part of FIU's Institute of Water and Environment dedicated to addressing global water and environmental issues. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/scientists-develop-new-tool-to-assess-oil-spills-300463960.html


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: phys.org

Scientists from the University of Milano (Italy), the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of Madrid (Spain) and the University of Porto (Portugal) took part in the study. The research outcomes have been published in Current Organic Synthesis this May. "Today the production of biofuels is an important area in many countries. They can be obtained from a great variety of biomasses. In Latin America, sources include orange and tangerine peel as well as banana skin. In the U.S., biofuels are produced from corn; in the central part of Russia and Europe, sources are derived from rape (Brassica napus). When processing these plants into biofuels, a large amount of glycerol is formed. Its esters constitute the basis of oils and fats. Glycerol is widely used in the cosmetics industry as an individual product. However, much more glycerol is obtained in the production of biofuels – many thousands of tons a year. As a result, unused glycerol merely becomes waste," says Alexey Pestryakov, the Head of the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry. "Now, a lot of research groups are engaged in this issue as to how to transform excess glycerol into other useful products. Along with our foreign colleagues, we offered catalysts based on gold nanoparticles." The authors of the research note that catalytic oxidation on gold is one of the most effective techniques to obtain from glycerol such useful products as aldehydes, esters, carboxylic acids and other substances. "All these substances are products of fine organic chemistry and are in demand in a wide range of industries, particularly in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. In agriculture, they are applied as part of different feed additives, veterinary drugs, fertilizers, plant treatment products, etc. Thus, unused glycerol after being processed will further be applied," says Alexey Pestryakov. Gold catalysts are super active. They can enter into chemical reactions with other substances at room temperature (other catalysts need to be heated), in some cases, even under zero degrees. However, gold can be a catalyst only at the nanolevel. "In a piece of gold, there will be no chemical reaction. In order to make gold become chemically active, the size of the particles should be less than two nanometers. At that scale, it has amazing properties," says the scientist. "A great challenge in this area is that gold catalysts are very rapidly deactivated, not only during work, but even during storage. Our objective is to ensure their longer shelf life. It is also important to use oxygen as an oxidizer, since toxic and corrosive peroxide compounds are often used for such purposes," says Alexey Petryakov. More information: Mario Farías et al. More Insights into Support and Preparation Method Effects in Gold Catalyzed Glycerol Oxidation, Current Organic Synthesis (2017). DOI: 10.2174/1570179413666161031114833


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Chemists at the Centre for Electrochemical Sciences at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a catalyst with self-healing properties. Under the challenging conditions of water electrolysis for hydrogen production, the catalyst material regenerates itself, as long as the components required for this are present in the electrolyte solution. A team involving Stefan Barwe, Prof Dr Wolfgang Schuhmann and Dr Edgar Ventosa from the Bochum Chair of Analytical Chemistry reports on this in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The work took place as part of the cluster of excellence Resolv. Hydrogen is considered an energy source of the future. However, finding stable and efficient catalysts to synthesise it is a challenge. This synthesis takes place using water electrolysis, with hydrogen created at one electrode and oxygen at the other. The electrodes are covered with a catalyst film, which is attacked during the reaction and becomes less effective. In a feasibility study, the Bochum chemists demonstrated a new way of creating a highly stable catalyst film. They added catalyst nanoparticles in the form of a powder to the solution, which surrounds the electrodes. The particles pumped through the electrode chambers collide with the electrode surface; there, a particle film forms based on electrostatic attraction forces. Particles with a positively charged surface are deposited on the anode and particles with a negatively charged surface on the cathode. The catalyst film thus forms by itself. Via the same mechanism, the catalyst surface regenerated during the reaction. New nanoparticles from the solution moved to the electrodes, where they freshened up the worn catalyst film. This self-healing effect lasted as long as catalyst particles were present in the solution. The researchers worked with nickel electrodes. They tested two different catalyst powders for the two electrodes, one a nickel-based material and one a cobalt-based material. All of the catalyst materials formed a film a few micrometres thick on the electrodes, as electron-microscopic captures confirmed. The measurements also showed that functional systems formed that produced hydrogen in a stable manner over several days. In further studies, the chemists now want to investigate more closely the influence of particle shape and size as well as the influence of the electrolyte solution on the efficiency and stability of the catalysts.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The threat of a major flu pandemic is a perennial concern. Now scientists have developed a fast and easy-to-use point-of-care diagnostic test that could one day help doctors and hospitals head off the rapid spread of the flu. They report their new device in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry. The gold standard of flu diagnostics involves expensive techniques, laboratory facilities, trained personnel and, most importantly, time. However, patients and doctors often don't have time on their side because some strains, such as H5N1, can cause severe illness and even death. And even common strains can be deadly in the elderly and small children. Existing rapid diagnostic tests can help with diagnoses, but these tests require multiple processing steps that still need to be performed with lab equipment in specialized facilities. So Paul Yager and colleagues set out to create a simpler, low-cost device that can be used during an office or hospital visit without expensive instruments. The researchers incorporated multiple steps of influenza detection -- viral lysis, target protein capture, labeling, rinsing and an enzyme-driven color change -- into one device. A user has to swab the inside of a patient's nose, then insert the swab into the device and twirl it for 10 seconds to release the virus. The device takes care of the rest. After about 35 minutes, it produces a visual readout that can be seen with the naked eye or captured with a smartphone camera. The researchers trained staff at a children's hospital to use the device, and they tested it on 25 patients during a flu outbreak. The device detected influenza A, one of the primary causes of moderate to severe flu epidemics, with 70 percent accuracy. The materials and reagents for one of these single-use devices cost less than $6. The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institutes of Health. The abstract that accompanies this study is available here. The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. 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. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. 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.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: phys.org

Josu Trebolazabala analyzes the composition of a tomato using a Raman spectrometer. Credit: Txetxu Berruezo A portable Raman spectrometer, a device used in very different fields such as metallurgy, archaeology and art, allows data to be obtained on the variation in the composition of tomatoes during various ripening phases, according to the results of a study conducted in the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry. The portable Raman spectrometer is an instrument widely used across a range of sectors. It is a non-invasive technique that can be used, for example, to detect the pigments in a painting without extracting any samples, thus preserving the integrity of the work. In this case, a research team of the UPV/EHU used a Raman spectrometer for culinary research. According to Josu Trebolazabala, the author of the study, "It is about transferring this technology, which had a specific use, to the kitchen. Our idea was to come up with a tool that could help producers find out when their tomatoes have reached their optimum ripeness point. This is achieved without destroying the fruit." The results provided by the device are comparable to those provided by a similar laboratory instrument. "Even though the quality of the Raman spectra of the lab instrument was higher, the quality of the information provided by the portable instrument could be regarded as sufficient for this purpose. The aim is to enable producers to go to the vegetable plot with this equipment, place the Raman probe on the tomato, and find out whether it is at its optimum picking point or whether it needs to be left longer so that it can ripen properly," said Jose Trebolazabala. Monitoring the composition of tomatoes during ripening phases has made it possible to observe the changes that take place in the composition of the tomato during its passage from an unripe state towards a ripe state. "When the tomato is green, the main pigments are chlorophyll (hence its green colour) and the waxy cuticles, which are on the outside," explained Trebolazabala. But the presence of these compounds drops as the fruit reaches its point of optimum ripeness. "Once the colour changes to orange, compounds of a different type are observed; the carotenoid compounds are activated. The tomato gradually acquires nutrients until it reaches its optimum point—in other words, when the lycopene (the red carotenoid) is at its maximum level. After that, the tomato begins to lose its carotenoid content, as shown by the analyses conducted on overripe tomatoes." This innovative technique can be extrapolated to any other food that changes colour during its ripening phase. "Tests have been carried out on peppers and pumpkins, for example, and it is also possible to obtain the data on their composition," he explained. Explore further: Video: How to make tomatoes taste awesome again More information: Josu Trebolazabala et al, Portable Raman spectroscopy for an in-situ monitoring the ripening of tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) fruits, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.saa.2017.03.024


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The portable Raman spectrometer, a device used in very different fields such as metallurgy, archaeology and art, allows data to be obtained on the variation in the composition of the tomato fruit during its various ripening phases, according to the results of a study conducted in the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry. The portable Raman spectrometer is an instrument widely used in a whole range of sectors, because it is a non-invasive technique that can be used, for example, to observe the pigments present in a painting or a sculpture without having to extract any samples, thus preserving the integrity of the work in question. In this case, a research team of the UPV/EHU has applied this equipment to culinary research. According to Josu Trebolazabala, the author of the study, "it is about transferring this technology, which had a specific use, to the kitchen. Our idea was to come up with a tool that could help producers find out when their tomatoes have reached their optimum ripeness point. This is achieved by using this technique and, what is more, without destroying the fruit". The results provided by this portable instrument have been compared with those provided by a similar laboratory instrument, and "even though the quality of the Raman spectra of the lab instrument was higher, the quality of the information provided by the portable instrument could be regarded as sufficient for the aim in mind. The aim is to enable producers to go to the vegetable plot with this equipment, place the Raman probe on the tomato, and find out whether it is at its optimum picking point or whether it needs to be left longer so that it can ripen properly," said Jose Trebolazabala. The monitoring of the composition of the tomato fruit during its ripening phases has made it possible to observe the changes that take place in the composition of the tomato during its passage from an unripe state towards a ripe state. "When the tomato is green, the main pigments are chlorophyll (hence its green colour) and the waxy cuticles, which are on the outside," explained Trebolazabala. But the presence of these compounds falls as the fruit reaches its point of optimum ripeness. "Once the colour changes to orange-coloured, compounds of a different type are observed; the carotenoid compounds are activated. The tomato gradually acquires nutrients until it reaches its optimum point, in other words, when the lycopene (the red carotenoid) is at its maximum level. After that, the tomato begins to lose its carotenoid content, as shown by the analyses conducted on overripe tomatoes". This innovative technique can be extrapolated to any other food that changes colour during its ripening phase. "Tests have been carried out on peppers and pumpkins, for example, and it is also possible to obtain the data on their composition," he explained. Josu Trebolazabala conducted this study in the IBeA research group in the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry. This group has been conducting basic research work and collaborating in the technological development and innovation of many companies since 1987. J. Trebolazabala, M. Maguregui, H. Morillas, A. de Diego, J.M. Madariaga. 2017. Portable Raman spectroscopy for an in-situ monitoring the ripening of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 180: 138-143


VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / May 12, 2017 / Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. ("American Manganese" or "AMI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: AMY; OTC PINK: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM), is pleased to announce that the Company and Kemetco Research Inc. will be presenting on advanced battery recycling for Li-Cobalt recovery and reuse at the 24th Cobalt Development Institute (CDI) Conference on May 18 in Marrakech, Morocco. The CDI is a non-profit trade association composed of producers, users, recyclers, and traders of cobalt. They promote the sustainable and responsible production and use of cobalt in all its forms. The Cobalt Conference is an annual event organized by the cobalt industry through the CDI. The conference will be attended by Mr. Norman Chow, President of Kemetco Research Inc., and Mr. Larry Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. Mr. Chow will make a technical presentation about American Manganese Inc.'s patent pending process for recycling cathode material such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel from spent electric vehicle lithium ion batteries. "The Company is honored to be invited to its second major technical presentation for its lithium ion electric vehicle battery recycling process technology. AMI is being recognized as a significant potential player in the supply of cathode materials specifically cobalt, which is in short supply currently trading at $54,500/tonne," says Mr. Reaugh. Kemetco Research is a private sector integrated science, technology and innovation company. Their Contract Sciences operation provides laboratory analysis and testing, field work, bench scale studies, pilot plant investigations, consulting services, applied research and development for both industry and government. Their clients range from start-up companies developing new technologies through to large multinational corporations with proven processes. They provide scientific expertise in the fields of Specialty Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Process and Extractive Metallurgy. Because Kemetco carries out research in many different fields, it is able to offer a broader range of backgrounds and expertise than most laboratories. American Manganese Inc. is a diversified specialty and critical metal company focused on capitalizing on its patented intellectual property through low cost production or recovery of electrolytic manganese products throughout the world, and recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium ion rechargeable batteries. Interest in the Company's patented process has adjusted the focus of American Manganese Inc. toward the examination of applying its patented technology for other purposes and materials. American Manganese Inc. aims to capitalize on its patented technology and proprietary know-how to become and industry leader in the recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium ion batteries having cathode chemistries such as: Lithium-Cobalt, Lithium-Cobalt-Nickel-Manganese, and Lithium-Manganese and Lithium-Cobalt-Aluminum (Please see the Company's January 19, 2017 press release for further details). Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain "forward-looking statements," which are statements about the future based on current expectations or beliefs. For this purpose, statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements by their nature involve risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate or true. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by law.


Cobalt Development Institute (CDI) Conference on May 18 in Marrakech, Morocco. The CDI is a non-profit trade association composed of producers, users, recyclers, and traders of cobalt. They promote the sustainable and responsible production and use of cobalt in all its forms. The Cobalt Conference is an annual event organized by the cobalt industry through the CDI. The conference will be attended by Mr. Norman Chow, President of Kemetco Research Inc., and Mr. Larry Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. Mr. Chow will make a technical presentation about American Manganese Inc.'s patent pending process for recycling cathode material such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel from spent electric vehicle lithium ion batteries. "The Company is honored to be invited to its second major technical presentation for its lithium ion electric vehicle battery recycling process technology. AMI is being recognized as a significant potential player in the supply of cathode materials specifically cobalt, which is in short supply currently trading at $54,500/tonne," says Mr. Reaugh. Kemetco Research is a private sector integrated science, technology and innovation company. Their Contract Sciences operation provides laboratory analysis and testing, field work, bench scale studies, pilot plant investigations, consulting services, applied research and development for both industry and government. Their clients range from start-up companies developing new technologies through to large multinational corporations with proven processes. They provide scientific expertise in the fields of Specialty Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Process and Extractive Metallurgy. Because Kemetco carries out research in many different fields, it is able to offer a broader range of backgrounds and expertise than most laboratories. American Manganese Inc. is a diversified specialty and critical metal company focused on capitalizing on its patented intellectual property through low cost production or recovery of electrolytic manganese products throughout the world, and recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium ion rechargeable batteries. Interest in the Company's patented process has adjusted the focus of American Manganese Inc. toward the examination of applying its patented technology for other purposes and materials. American Manganese Inc. aims to capitalize on its patented technology and proprietary know-how to become and industry leader in the recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium ion batteries having cathode chemistries such as: Lithium-Cobalt, Lithium-Cobalt-Nickel-Manganese, and Lithium-Manganese and Lithium-Cobalt-Aluminum (Please see the Company's January 19, 2017 press release for further details). Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain "forward-looking statements," which are statements about the future based on current expectations or beliefs. For this purpose, statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements by their nature involve risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate or true. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by law.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: phys.org

Scientists are developing a disposable, easy-to-use flu detector that yields visible results (inset) in about 35 minutes. Credit: American Chemical Society The threat of a major flu pandemic is a perennial concern. Now scientists have developed a fast and easy-to-use point-of-care diagnostic test that could one day help doctors and hospitals head off the rapid spread of the flu. They report their new device in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry. The gold standard of flu diagnostics involves expensive techniques, laboratory facilities, trained personnel and, most importantly, time. However, patients and doctors often don't have time on their side because some strains, such as H5N1, can cause severe illness and even death. And even common strains can be deadly in the elderly and small children. Existing rapid diagnostic tests can help with diagnoses, but these tests require multiple processing steps that still need to be performed with lab equipment in specialized facilities. So Paul Yager and colleagues set out to create a simpler, low-cost device that can be used during an office or hospital visit without expensive instruments. The researchers incorporated multiple steps of influenza detection—viral lysis, target protein capture, labeling, rinsing and an enzyme-driven color change—into one device. A user has to swab the inside of a patient's nose, then insert the swab into the device and twirl it for 10 seconds to release the virus. The device takes care of the rest. After about 35 minutes, it produces a visual readout that can be seen with the naked eye or captured with a smartphone camera. The researchers trained staff at a children's hospital to use the device, and they tested it on 25 patients during a flu outbreak. The device detected influenza A, one of the primary causes of moderate to severe flu epidemics, with 70 percent accuracy. The materials and reagents for one of these single-use devices cost less than $6. Explore further: Researchers develop novel flu test to speed up respiratory treatment More information: Shichu Huang et al. Disposable Autonomous Device for Swab-to-Result Diagnosis of Influenza, Analytical Chemistry (2017). DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04801

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