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News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: phys.org

The conventional view that metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) cannot be stable in water has been overturned by the development of an MOF that can selectively and effectively adsorb water to dry gas streams. "The achievement of energy efficient dehydration by our MOF is revolutionary," said Professor Mohamed Eddaoudi, Director of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials (AMPM) at the KAUST Division of Physical Science and Engineering. Gases, such as natural gas, must be dehydrated before transportation and use to avoid problems including pipeline corrosion and blockages due to methane ice formation. Conventional drying agents require an energy-intensive regeneration cycle. The new fluorinated MOF developed by the KAUST team achieves the drying and regeneration cycle at relatively low temperatures and requires about half the energy input of conventional procedures. This dramatic reduction in energy use highlights the obvious potential for upscaling the innovation to bring huge efficiency savings in the gas production and transport industry. MOFs are hybrid organic-inorganic materials that contain metal ions or clusters held in place by organic molecules known as linkers. Varying the metal components and organic linkers allows researchers to fine-tune the structure and chemical properties of MOFs. A major aim of this fine-tuning is to create MOFs with cavities that will selectively bind to and retain specific molecules, such as the water that must be removed from a gas stream. "Initially, our aim was to adapt our recently introduced fluorine-containing MOFs, to include a periodic array of open metal sites and fluorine centers in the contracted pore system, to achieve various key separations," said Eddaoudi. This exploration led to the discovery of a water-stable MOF— now labeled KAUST-8— with unique water adsorption properties and outstanding recyclable dehydration capabilities. Significantly, KAUST-8 removes carbon dioxide along with water, which is a common requirement in industrial gas processing. "I have no doubt that this discovery will inspire scientists in academia and industry to explore MOFs to address other challenges," said Eddaoudi. The KAUST team sees additional possibilities may include the removal of water from liquids, such as inks and solvents used in the electronics industry. Explore further: Tweaking the structure of metal-organic frameworks could transform the capacity to use methane as a fuel


News Article | May 20, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

MIDLAND, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer, has been appointed co-chair of the newly launched Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum – created to demonstrate the strategic partnerships between the two countries with the aim of mutual value creation and job growth. The inaugural annual forum, under the theme “Partnership for Generations,” convened chief executive officers of major Saudi and U.S. companies spanning several industries with senior Saudi government officials. Discussions focused on opportunities to enhance bilateral trade and investments, strengthen economic ties and business relationships, and explore partnership and investment opportunities aligned to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. “ Dow greatly values its long-standing, strategic partnerships and relationships in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Liveris. “ I am honored to play a key role in advancing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan designed to create a vibrant society and thriving diversified economy.” Dow has been investing in Saudi Arabia for more than 40 years and is the largest foreign investor in the country. Dow maintains several joint ventures in the region including Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). Comprising 26 manufacturing units, Sadara is one of the world’s largest integrated chemical facilities and the largest ever built in a single phase. In addition to Sadara, Dow maintains a joint ventures with Juffali & Brothers, and Saudi Acrylic Monomer Company (SAMCo). Additional strategic investments include agreements with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to construct a new Dow Middle East Research and Development Center, and a Reverse Osmosis manufacturing facility – the first unit of its kind outside of the United States. In June, 2016, Dow became the first company to receive a trading license from the Government of Saudi Arabia, allowing 100 percent ownership in the country’s trading sector. Dow currently has more than 500 employees in the country. Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, clean water, energy efficiency, more durable infrastructure, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven portfolio delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in 175 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, infrastructure, transportation, consumer care, electronics, and agriculture. In 2016, Dow had annual sales of $48 billion and employed approximately 56,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 7,000 product families are manufactured at 189 sites in 34 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

A strategy to produce highly fluorescent nanoparticles through careful molecular design of conjugated polymers has been developed by KAUST researchers. Such tiny polymer-based particles could offer alternatives to conventional organic dyes and inorganic semiconductor quantum dots as fluorescent tags for medical imaging. Conjugated polymer-derived nanoparticles, called Pdots, are expected to transform several areas, including optoelectronics, bio-imaging, bio-sensing and nanomedicine, due to their intense fluorescence, high stability under exposure to light and low cytotoxicity. Their spectroscopic properties are tunable by tweaking the polymer structures. This makes it essential to consider their design at the molecular level. Bio-imaging applications require nanoparticles small enough to be eliminated from the body and strongly emit light in the far-red to near-infrared range. However, current design and fabrication of Pdots have mostly relied on empirical approaches, hindering attempts to manufacture these ultrasmall nanoparticles. To meet this challenge, Dr. Hubert Piwoski and Associate Professor Satoshi Habuchi came up with a systematic method that enhances the performance of Pdots. Habuchi explained that his team aimed to create Pdots of a smaller size and brighter fluorescence by using conjugated polymers, whose backbone of alternating single and multiple bonds enables so-called π electrons to move freely throughout the structure. For the first time, the researchers opted for twisted, instead of planar, conjugated polymers as building blocks to generate their Pdots. Existing Pdots usually exhibit lower fluorescence intensity than their precursors as result of complex inter- and intra-chain photophysical interactions within particles. According to Habuchi, this trial was a shot in the dark -- his team initiated the project without really knowing what would eventuate -- but they were still surprised by the fluorescence behaviors of these Pdots compared to their previously investigated analogues. Preliminary results suggest that the newly synthesized nanoparticles were the smallest and brightest Pdots reported to date. "Therefore, we hypothesized that the twisted shape of the molecules is responsible for the very bright fluorescence due to the suppression of π-π interactions inside the particles," explained Habuchi. The researchers validated their hypothesis by comprehensive photophysical and structural characterizations. "That was the most exciting moment of our project," added Habuchi, noting that this demonstration has opened a new door for the correct prediction of the fluorescence properties of Pdots. "We are now trying to introduce functional groups into these Pdots for bioconjugation," Habuchi continued. The team is also designing and fabricating near-infrared-emitting nanoparticles.


Home > Press > The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications Abstract: A strategy to produce highly fluorescent nanoparticles through careful molecular design of conjugated polymers has been developed by KAUST researchers. Such tiny polymer-based particles could offer alternatives to conventional organic dyes and inorganic semiconductor quantum dots as fluorescent tags for medical imaging. Conjugated polymer-derived nanoparticles, called Pdots, are expected to transform several areas, including optoelectronics, bio-imaging, bio-sensing and nanomedicine, due to their intense fluorescence, high stability under exposure to light and low cytotoxicity. Their spectroscopic properties are tunable by tweaking the polymer structures. This makes it essential to consider their design at the molecular level. Bio-imaging applications require nanoparticles small enough to be eliminated from the body and strongly emit light in the far-red to near-infrared range. However, current design and fabrication of Pdots have mostly relied on empirical approaches, hindering attempts to manufacture these ultrasmall nanoparticles. To meet this challenge, Dr. Hubert Piwoski and Associate Professor Satoshi Habuchi came up with a systematic method that enhances the performance of Pdots. Habuchi explained that his team aimed to create Pdots of a smaller size and brighter fluorescence by using conjugated polymers, whose backbone of alternating single and multiple bonds enables so-called π electrons to move freely throughout the structure. For the first time, the researchers opted for twisted, instead of planar, conjugated polymers as building blocks to generate their Pdots. Existing Pdots usually exhibit lower fluorescence intensity than their precursors as result of complex inter- and intra-chain photophysical interactions within particles. According to Habuchi, this trial was a shot in the dark -- his team initiated the project without really knowing what would eventuate -- but they were still surprised by the fluorescence behaviors of these Pdots compared to their previously investigated analogues. Preliminary results suggest that the newly synthesized nanoparticles were the smallest and brightest Pdots reported to date. "Therefore, we hypothesized that the twisted shape of the molecules is responsible for the very bright fluorescence due to the suppression of π-π interactions inside the particles," explained Habuchi. The researchers validated their hypothesis by comprehensive photophysical and structural characterizations. "That was the most exciting moment of our project," added Habuchi, noting that this demonstration has opened a new door for the correct prediction of the fluorescence properties of Pdots. "We are now trying to introduce functional groups into these Pdots for bioconjugation," Habuchi continued. The team is also designing and fabricating near-infrared-emitting nanoparticles. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The conventional view that metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) cannot be stable in water has been overturned by the development of an MOF that can selectively and effectively adsorb water to dry gas streams. "The achievement of energy efficient dehydration by our MOF is revolutionary," said Professor Mohamed Eddaoudi, Director of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials (AMPM) at the KAUST Division of Physical Science and Engineering. Gases, such as natural gas, must be dehydrated before transportation and use to avoid problems including pipeline corrosion and blockages due to methane ice formation. Conventional drying agents require an energy-intensive regeneration cycle. The new fluorinated MOF developed by the KAUST team achieves the drying and regeneration cycle at relatively low temperatures and requires about half the energy input of conventional procedures. This dramatic reduction in energy use highlights the obvious potential for upscaling the innovation to bring huge efficiency savings in the gas production and transport industry. MOFs are hybrid organic-inorganic materials that contain metal ions or clusters held in place by organic molecules known as linkers. Varying the metal components and organic linkers allows researchers to fine-tune the structure and chemical properties of MOFs. A major aim of this fine-tuning is to create MOFs with cavities that will selectively bind to and retain specific molecules, such as the water that must be removed from a gas stream. "Initially, our aim was to adapt our recently introduced fluorine-containing MOFs, to include a periodic array of open metal sites and fluorine centers in the contracted pore system, to achieve various key separations," said Eddaoudi. This exploration led to the discovery of a water-stable MOF-- now labeled KAUST-8-- with unique water adsorption properties and outstanding recyclable dehydration capabilities. Significantly, KAUST-8 removes carbon dioxide along with water, which is a common requirement in industrial gas processing. "I have no doubt that this discovery will inspire scientists in academia and industry to explore MOFs to address other challenges," said Eddaoudi. The KAUST team sees additional possibilities may include the removal of water from liquids, such as inks and solvents used in the electronics industry.


News Article | May 20, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

MIDLAND, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today signed two agreements to advance the Company’s strategic, innovation agenda in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) which will bring leading edge technologies to KSA that support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification and advanced manufacturing development plan. Dow signed an agreement to construct a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to produce a range of polymers for coatings and water-treatment applications, and a memorandum of understanding for a feasibility study related to a proposed investment in the Company’s Performance Silicones franchise. Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer, signed the agreements at an event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, attended by U.S. President Donald J. Trump, His Majesty, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness, the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and other distinguished guests. “ Dow has been a long-term strategic partner in Saudi Arabia for nearly four decades and is the largest foreign investor in the country,” said Liveris. “ Through our global and regional experience and expertise, we have unmatched capabilities to deliver high value, innovative solutions that support the Kingdom in key growth areas that help advance the Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan designed to create a vibrant society and a thriving diversified economy.” Located in the PlasChem Park in Jubail, the coatings facility will service the needs of the Saudi Arabian market with an innovative range of acrylic-based polymers for industrial and architectural coatings and water-treatment and detergent applications. The investment will create approximately 1,000 jobs during peak construction and approximately 100 high-skilled, full-time operations jobs in the Kingdom, ultimately growing local manufacturing and sustainable economic growth. The new coatings facility will complement Dow’s existing coatings capabilities in the Middle East, which include an existing facility at Jebel Ali, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The proposed silicones investment will include constructing a fully integrated, world-scale siloxanes and high performance silicones complex geared towards markets and industries such as home and personal care, automotive, high performance building and construction, solar energy, medical devices, and oil and gas. When complete the complex will support the economic impact of KSA through the creation of approximately 350 full-time, technology-skilled jobs. This move will serve to further integrate the former Dow Corning silicones business into Dow, and will accelerate the development of new hybrid materials which will be unique, technology rich solutions for regional-specific needs. For example, the Middle East is home to many of the world’s largest and tallest buildings, which utilize high performance glass bonding technologies from Dow Silicones. Dow was recently awarded the contract for supply of silicones sealants for the structural glazing façade of the Jeddah Tower in KSA. Construction of the façade will start later this year. Upon completion, the Jeddah Tower will be the tallest building in the world and will utilize state-of-the-art silicones technology from Dow to realize its futuristic architectural design. These investments are another example of Dow’s long-term strategy in the Kingdom and region. Dow maintains several joint ventures in the region including Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). Comprising 26 manufacturing units, Sadara is one of the world’s largest integrated chemical facilities and the largest ever built in a single phase. Sadara has completed construction on all of its 26 manufacturing units with 19 units either in operating or start up mode. Five units are fully up and running – marking the commercialization of Sadara’s entire plastics franchise. And all remaining units are on track for a sequenced start-up throughout 2017 to meet rising demand in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Eastern Europe. The complex possesses flexible cracking capabilities and will produce more than 3 million metric tons of high-value performance plastics and specialty chemical products, capitalizing on rapidly growing markets such as transportation, infrastructure, packaging and consumer products. The performance-focused products will add new value chains to the Kingdom’s vast petroleum reserves, resulting in the diversification of the economy and region. Sadara employs more than 4,000 talented Saudis and foreign nationals, and will help diversify the economy by adding value to the Kingdom’s vast petroleum reserves and making chemical products not produced before in the Middle East. Dow has estimated that the project will create 14,000 new jobs in Saudi Arabia, ~4,000 of which are from direct employment and the rest indirectly. Other joint ventures in the region include a joint venture with Juffali & Brothers, and Saudi Acrylic Monomer Company (SAMCo). Additional strategic investments include agreements with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to construct a new Dow Middle East Research and Development Center, and a Reverse Osmosis manufacturing facility – the first unit of its kind outside of the United States. In June, 2016, Dow became the first company to receive a trading license from the Government of Saudi Arabia, allowing 100 percent ownership in the country’s trading sector. Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, clean water, energy efficiency, more durable infrastructure, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven portfolio delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in 175 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, infrastructure, transportation, consumer care, electronics, and agriculture. In 2016, Dow had annual sales of $48 billion and employed approximately 56,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 7,000 product families are manufactured at 189 sites in 34 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A strategy to produce highly fluorescent nanoparticles through careful molecular design of conjugated polymers has been developed by KAUST researchers. Such tiny polymer-based particles could offer alternatives to conventional organic dyes and inorganic semiconductor quantum dots as fluorescent tags for medical imaging. Conjugated polymer-derived nanoparticles, called Pdots, are expected to transform several areas, including optoelectronics, bio-imaging, bio-sensing and nanomedicine, due to their intense fluorescence, high stability under exposure to light and low cytotoxicity. Their spectroscopic properties are tunable by tweaking the polymer structures. This makes it essential to consider their design at the molecular level. Bio-imaging applications require nanoparticles small enough to be eliminated from the body and strongly emit light in the far-red to near-infrared range. However, current design and fabrication of Pdots have mostly relied on empirical approaches, hindering attempts to manufacture these ultrasmall nanoparticles. To meet this challenge, Dr. Hubert Piwoski and Associate Professor Satoshi Habuchi came up with a systematic method that enhances the performance of Pdots. Habuchi explained that his team aimed to create Pdots of a smaller size and brighter fluorescence by using conjugated polymers, whose backbone of alternating single and multiple bonds enables so-called π electrons to move freely throughout the structure. For the first time, the researchers opted for twisted, instead of planar, conjugated polymers as building blocks to generate their Pdots. Existing Pdots usually exhibit lower fluorescence intensity than their precursors as result of complex inter- and intra-chain photophysical interactions within particles. According to Habuchi, this trial was a shot in the dark -- his team initiated the project without really knowing what would eventuate -- but they were still surprised by the fluorescence behaviors of these Pdots compared to their previously investigated analogues. Preliminary results suggest that the newly synthesized nanoparticles were the smallest and brightest Pdots reported to date. "Therefore, we hypothesized that the twisted shape of the molecules is responsible for the very bright fluorescence due to the suppression of π-π interactions inside the particles," explained Habuchi. The researchers validated their hypothesis by comprehensive photophysical and structural characterizations. "That was the most exciting moment of our project," added Habuchi, noting that this demonstration has opened a new door for the correct prediction of the fluorescence properties of Pdots. "We are now trying to introduce functional groups into these Pdots for bioconjugation," Habuchi continued. The team is also designing and fabricating near-infrared-emitting nanoparticles.


The catalyst rearranges propane, which contains three carbon atoms, into other molecules, such as butane (containing four carbons), pentane (with five carbons) and ethane (with two carbons). "Our aim is to convert lower molecular weight alkanes to valuable diesel-range alkanes," said Manoja Samantaray from the KAUST Catalysis Center. At the heart of the catalyst are compounds of two metals, titanium and tungsten, which are anchored to a silica surface via oxygen atoms. The strategy used was catalysis by design. Previous studies showed that monometallic catalysts were engaged in two functions: alkane to olefin and then olefin metathesis. Titanium was chosen because of its ability to activate the C-H bond of paraffins to transform them to olefins, and tungsten was chosen for its high activity for olefin metathesis. To create the catalyst, the team heated silica to remove as much water as possible and then added hexamethyl tungsten and tetraneopentyl titanium, forming a light-yellow powder. The researchers studied the catalyst using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to show that the tungsten and titanium atoms lie extremely close together on the silica surfaces, perhaps as close as ≈0.5 nanometres. The researchers, led by the Director of the center Jean-Marie Basset, then tested the catalyst by heating it to 150°C with propane for three days. After optimizing the reaction conditions— for example, by allowing the propane to flow continuously over the catalyst—they found that the main products of the reaction were ethane and butane and that each pair of tungsten and titanium atoms could catalyze an average of 10,000 cycles before losing their activity. This "turnover number" is the highest ever reported for a propane metathesis reaction. This success of catalysis by design, the researchers propose, is due to an expected cooperative effect between the two metals. First, a titanium atom removes hydrogen atoms from propane to form propene and then a neighboring tungsten atom breaks open propene at its carbon-carbon double bond, creating fragments that can recombine into other hydrocarbons. The researchers also found that catalyst powders containing only tungsten or titanium performed very poorly; even when these two powders were physically mixed together, their performance did not match the cooperative catalyst. The team hopes to design an even better catalyst with a higher turnover number, and a longer lifetime. "We believe that in the near future, industry can adopt our approach for producing diesel-range alkanes and more generally of catalysis by design," said Samantaray. Explore further: A new catalyst to transform propane into propene More information: Manoja K. Samantaray et al. Unearthing a Well-Defined Highly Active Bimetallic W/Ti Precatalyst Anchored on a Single Silica Surface for Metathesis of Propane, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2017). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b12970


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The protein tags that adorn immune cells and engage with receptors to promote inflammation in the body's endothelial tissues are not what they were thought to be. A KAUST investigation has identified the true surface proteins expressed by T-cells that mediate this molecular liaison, a finding that could help scientists control inflammation that has gone haywire. "This has significant implications for developing targeted therapies to combat inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis," says Jasmeen Merzaban, a biochemist at KAUST who led the research. The receptor with which the surface proteins on T-cells interact is known as E-selectin. This 'cell adhesion molecule' is expressed by tissues that line the inner surface of blood vessels: it acts as a kind of Velcro that clings to T-cells when the endothelium needs to fight off infections from bacteria or viruses. The trouble is that E-selectins can also trigger inflammation when there are no such microbial invaders. These aberrant inflammatory signals can cause autoimmune diseases. However, blocking the hitching of E-selectin to T-cells could help reverse that problematic immune reaction. For more than a decade, researchers knew of only two surface proteins expressed by T-cells that could serve as binding partners, or ligands, for E-selection. Yet, mouse studies had shown that reducing expression of these two proteins -- PSGL-1 and CD43 -- was not sufficient to eliminate the crosstalk between E-selectin and T-cells. That suggested to Merzaban that some other E-selectin ligands might be at play. She and her graduate students, Amal Ali and Ayman Abuelela from KAUST's Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division, used a mass spectrometry approach to identify the full repertoire of E-selectin ligands expressed by T-cells. They detected 10 such proteins, one of which they explored in greater detail owing to its known function as an E-selectin ligand expressed by blood stem cells, the precursors of T-cells. This protein, called CD44, is also expressed on the surface of both 'helper' and 'killer' T-cells, where it binds E-selectin, the researchers found. Merzaban and her team had discovered a third E-selectin ligand. But, as it turned out, not all these ligands contribute to T-cell tethering. The researchers knocked down the expression of all three ligands, individually and in combination. They discovered that CD44 -- not CD43 -- worked with PSGL-1 as the E-selectin ligands implicated in inflammation. They confirmed the clinical relevance of these findings by looking at T-cells isolated from patients with psoriasis, a common inflammatory skin condition -- which means that "targeting these ligands could be a viable option to treat skin diseases," says Ali.


News Article | May 29, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

By observing the soot particles formed in a simple flame, researchers at KAUST have developed a computational model capable of simulating soot production inside the latest gasoline automobile engines. Although today's passenger vehicle engines are cleaner than ever before, their exhaust can still contain significant numbers of nanoscopic soot particles that are small enough to penetrate the lungs and bloodstream. This new computer model should help car makers improve their engines to cut soot formation. Gasoline engines are not traditionally associated with soot -- it's a problem usually linked with diesel vehicles. But over the last decade, to boost fuel efficiency, manufacturers have made their gasoline engines more diesel-like, adopting "direct injection" technology that sprays fuel directly into the engine cylinder. "Sometimes you get fuel-rich pockets where there's not enough air for complete combustion or sometimes the fuel hits the cylinder wall and forms a pool fire," said S. Mani Sarathy from the KAUST Clean Combustion Center, who co-led the work. Both of these scenarios generate soot. Working out how to minimize soot is a challenge because it is difficult to see inside an engine cylinder as fuel combustion takes place. Sarathy and his coworkers tackled the problem by burning a chemically simplified "gasoline surrogate" mixture in an experimental setup called a counterflow diffusion flame. By shining lasers into this open flame, they could monitor soot and its precursors as the fuel burns. "These experiments have been done previously with gaseous fuels, but this is the first time they have been done with gasoline-relevant liquid fuels," Sarathy said. The team varied the composition of the fuel and observed particle production to build a model of the basic chemical reactions through which soot particles form and grow. "Once we have this basic kinetic model that works well in simple flames, we can utilize the model in an engine simulation," Sarathy explained. An engine combustion simulation is essentially an ensemble of many tiny flamelets, which are combined to give a complete picture of how soot is formed in an engine. Car makers could use Sarathy's model in their own simulations to test whether changes, such as altering engine geometry or the timing of fuel injection, might cut soot production. "We also have industrial partners that utilize the model to see how different fuels and engine combustion strategies affect soot production," Sarathy said. For future engine designs, the model will help manufacturers minimize soot before the engine ever rolls off the production line.

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