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Published on August 27th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Weddings, vacation, illness, travel days . . .  Looking back, sometimes there have been events that caused us to miss a few good ceramic- and glass-related developments and press releases. The stories in this grab bag have only a few cobwebs on them, so check ‘em out: Cementing success: Startup that eyes radical shift in …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on August 26th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Credit: Tetsuya Blues A fascinating report presented today at a science meeting in Boston describes technology that could capture large amounts of electrical energy from the air, energy that is normally manifest as lightning. A research group from the University of Campinas (Brazil) led by Fernando Galembeck thinks this air-based power source can be harnessed into a …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on August 25th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

“Dry water.” Credit: ACS. The American Chemical Society today distributed a story that came out of one of its meetings regarding the use of “dry water” powder as a medium for absorbing CO2, enhancing certain chemical reactions and storing emulsions. Although the story is interesting, it’s not exactly clear to me if the CO2 angle, …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on August 25th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Hollow rods of titanium oxide with the solid manganese oxide core removed. (Credit: UConn.) According to a University of Connecticut press release, researchers believe they have developed a new material that could be used as a catalyst in alternative fuel development. Featured in the September issue of the nanotechnology journal, Small, University of Connecticut chemistry …

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Aeronautics & Space




Published on August 25th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

PV panels on the Mars rover Spirit were covered with dust over a two-year period. Credit: NASA/JPL. Self-cleaning surfaces aren’t a particularly novel idea, and self-cleaning glass commercial products made by companies, such as Saint Gobain, have been around in various products for at least five years – but at a premium price. These technologies …

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Business




Published on August 24th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

It’s far from a disinterested source, but Avalon Rare Metals tells me today that prices for individual rare earth elements have soared 22-705% since January: “[T]he most significant rises have occurred since the June announcement on export quota reductions. The largest percentage price increases have been for cerium and lanthanum, which most analysts believe is …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on August 24th, 2010 | By: Esther Levy

Lithium batteries that utilize oxygen as the cathode material are very promising owing to their extremely high theoretical capacity of almost 12,000 Wh kg-1. In these lithium-air batteries, oxygen is adsorbed directly from the atmosphere when required rather than being stored in the battery itself. In practice, a combination of carbon powder, oxygen, oxygen reduction …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on August 24th, 2010 | By: Kitty Cha

One of the ways of ensuring a sustainable solar cell industry is to make cheap and stable cells, using abundant and environmentally friendly materials. However, until now, many such solar cells, particularly those made from copper and zinc oxides, have had their performance limited by the poor collection of photo-generated charges from these materials. A …

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Biomaterials




Published on August 24th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

PopSci recently reported that a team of researchers have created a new cellulose aerogel. The researched was published in Nature Nanotechnology. The team, composed of scientists from the Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, soaked cellulose in a metal compound solution and freeze-dried it, removing all the moisture and …

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Ceramic Tech Today




Published on August 24th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Loops (seen above in blue) between graphene layers can be minimized using electron irradiation (bottom). (Credit: ORNL) According to a press release, researchers at Oak Ridge National Lab have discovered how loops develop in graphene, an electrically conductive high-strength low-weight material that resembles an atomic-scale honeycomb. The nanoscale simulations are bringing scientists closer to using …

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