Materials & Innovations

New ceramic material speeds microwaving, uses less energy

By / September 5, 2008

Dishes and cookware made from a newly developed ceramic material may soon enable faster and more energy-efficient microwaving, according to Sridhar Komarneni, a professor of clay mineralogy at Penn State University. Komarneni reports on the new material’s development in the July 11, 2008, online edition of Chemistry of Materials. “Currently, food heated in a microwave loses…

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Latest hydrogen catalyst: Calcium-Cerium Oxide

By / September 5, 2008

It seems like there is a breakthrough a week in the realm of lower-cost catalysts for producing hydrogen. The latest news comes from Ohio State University, where researchers are using a $1.1 million grant to develop alternatives to pricey rare and precious metallic catalysts like platinum and rhodium. With these metals selling for thousands of…

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Graphene memory possible?

By / August 26, 2008

Writers at the IEEE Spectrum report that molecule-size memory may be possible using graphene. Electrons flow extremely fast in graphene, much faster than in silicon, and a graphene transistor could really zip. That’s been the good news. The bad news, until now however, is that it’s hard to stop current from flowing in graphene once…

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Video of the Week: More about Nocera’s electrolysis catalyst

By / August 26, 2008

In a previous edition of Ceramic Tech Weekly, we posted information and a brief video about MIT researcher Daniel Nocera and his apparently successful efforts to cut down on the use of costly platinum. Now the good folks at Blip.TV have gone out and toured Nocera’s lab and conducted a longer interview with him. Check…

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From the ashes of the old: Reclaimed uranium

By / August 25, 2008

A researcher at the University of Idaho has penned an agreement with a leading nuclear power company to launch a new type of recycling plant that can harvest uranium and other materials from the ashes of radioactive garbage to be recycled back into nuclear fuel using an efficient, environmentally friendly technology, according to university officials.…

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New “skin” to provide more human touch

By / August 24, 2008

Science Magazine has published research suggesting that Japanese scientists have developed a composite skin that is both stretchable and able to conduct electricity, leading researchers at the University of Tokyo to predict robotic applications covered with the material that can both feel heat and pressure. The problem they have been trying to address is that…

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Catalyst discovery unlocks low-cost solar storage

By / August 18, 2008

MIT researchers have discovered a fairly cheap and easy way to store solar power so it can be utilized when the sun is not shining – a development they claim will make solar power a mainstream energy source within the next decade.

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Aluminum Prices to Soar

By / August 18, 2008

Aluminum supplies cannot keep pace with demand, because producers are not able get the sufficient electricity to produce the lightweight metal, according to a July 1, 2008, Timesonline article. The Internet news service says a crunch on global power is likely to send aluminum prices – already at historic highs – skyrocketing an additional 33 percent…

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