Six Slinn Picks – chemical news

  • Iowa State engineer scales up process that could improve economics of ethanol production – Iowa State's Hans van Leeuwen and a team of researchers have built a pilot plant to test a process designed to improve ethanol production.
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With No Magnets – Two groups, at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, have shown that chemical analysis with NMR is practical without using any magnets at all.
  • Liquid crystals spot bacteria to order – Liquid crystals could one day be used as bio-sensors, detecting the presence of minute amounts of pathogens. That is the claim of a US group of researchers, who have demonstrated how a liquid crystal changes orientation in the presence of bacteria.
  • Rocket fuel goes green with ionic liquids – Military researchers in the US have developed a novel 'green' rocket fuel whose constituents are less corrosive and toxic than those used in conventional propellant systems.
  • Throwing light on molecular logic gates – Scientists in Europe and the US have designed a molecule that can be manipulated using light to carry out multiple and distinct logic functions. The multifunctional molecule, which can be reconfigured by light, could be used in data storage devices and biomedicine, including nanoparticle tracking and drug delivery.
  • Splitting water to create renewable energy simpler than first thought? – An international team, of scientists, led by a team at Monash University has found the key to the hydrogen economy could come from a very simple mineral, commonly seen as a black stain on rocks.

Chemist and writer Robert Slinn picks six of the best for his regular web column on Reactive Reports – Slinn Pickings.

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