Developing cement-free refractories: Geopolymer binders show potential in high-temperature alumina castables

By Lisa McDonald / September 19, 2023

Geopolymers are emerging as a promising alternative to cement binders in refractories. In a recent study, researchers in Brazil identified a new geopolymer composition that could serve as a binder in high-temperature alumina castables.

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Reducing the environmental impacts of MXene synthesis: Life cycle assessment and production guide offer tips

By Lisa McDonald / September 15, 2023

Despite the meteoric rise of MXenes from discovery to commercial products in only a decade, the environmental impacts of MXene synthesis have not been assessed systematically. ACerS member Babak Anasori helped lead two recent studies that provided a life cycle assessment and step-by-step guide for synthesizing Ti3C2Tx MXenes, respectively.

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Protecting solar panels from hail—the thicker the glass, the better

By Lisa McDonald / September 12, 2023

The increasing frequency and severity of hailstorms puts solar panels at risk of damage. Researchers in India and Hong Kong explored the role that front glass thickness plays in improving the hail resistance of solar panels.

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Video: Collecting data in granular environments—turtle-inspired robot can swim untethered under the sand

By Lisa McDonald / August 16, 2023

Robots cannot move easily in granular environments, such as sand. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, designed a robot inspired by sea turtle hatchlings that can swim untethered through sand. This robot could improve the ability of researchers to collect data in granular environments.

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Gaining a second wind—recycled automotive glass hits the road again in new windshields

By Lisa McDonald / August 4, 2023

Car windows that are damaged beyond repair have to date been reused for less demanding purposes, such as bottles or insulation. A pilot project led by the Audi Group showed defective car glass can be recycled successfully back into new windshields, and the company plans to shift this glass into standard production starting September 2023.

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Embodied carbon of concrete in buildings: Large-scale study calls for more consistency and accuracy in reporting of carbon impacts

By Lisa McDonald / July 14, 2023

Players in the cement and concrete sectors are working diligently to achieve a reduction in emissions. However, there are multiple gaps in knowledge about the extent of these emissions, which makes it difficult to determine how effective new initiatives are at reducing emissions. A group of researchers from several universities in the United Kingdom are conducting a large-scale study to help fill this knowledge gap.

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Maximizing resource use—modified starch aids in selective separation of feldspar and quartz from tailings

By Lisa McDonald / June 27, 2023

Instead of open-pit mines, tailings may become the primary source of feldspar and quartz in the future if the minerals can be selectively extracted from the waste. Researchers in China showed that hydroxypropyl starch can improve the flotation separation of feldspar and quartz.

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Video: Scotland’s proposed container recycling scheme faces delays and controversy

By Lisa McDonald / June 14, 2023

Over the past few years, the Scotland government has worked to develop a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates for drink containers in the country. However, implementation of the scheme has been delayed due to pushback from retailers and drinks companies. A recent decision by the U.K. government excluding glass from the scheme has now pushed back the launch date to October 2025.

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Remediating mine waste—ceramics aid in treatment of acid mine drainage

By Lisa McDonald / June 6, 2023

With the rapid growth of the global mining sector, it is crucial that miners adopt improved regulations and lower-impact methods to reduce the sector’s environmental and social footprint. Ceramics play an important role in environmental remediation, and today’s CTT highlights two studies that use ceramics to treat acid mine drainage.

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Video: Upcoming deadline risks deep-sea mining taking place without regulations

By Lisa McDonald / May 31, 2023

The International Seabed Authority is running up against a July 9 deadline to finish developing a code for deep-sea mining. The possibility of mineral exploitation taking place without regulations has marine scientists concerned because so much is still unknown about the environmental effects of this practice.

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