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Nanomaterials

Nanoceramic particles: The new Slick 50?

By / September 19, 2008

Is it really true that everything “new” in engines is old? Some days it seems that way. Today we received word of a nanoceramic oil additive for combustion engines (and other mechanical-friction applications) from CerMetLab that offers itself as a way to reduce metal-on-metal friction and improve fuel economy and efficiency by 15 percent. Does…

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NanoDynamics gets DOE boost for 400-watt SOFC

By / September 16, 2008

Buffalo, New York’s NanoDynamics Energy is at the receiving end of a nice DOE grant to continue development a 400-watt solid oxide fuel cell fuel by hydrogen, methane gas and related biogases. The $2.4 million contract allows NanoDynamics to scale-up their technologies from previous 20-watt+ prototypes SOFCs running on biogas, and develop efficient manufacturing techniques.

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Iranian research getting noticed

By / September 13, 2008

Iran isn’t necessarily known for being a leader in ceramic and related material science, but some recent announcements suggest they shouldn’t be ignored either. For example, one group has successfully produced a sulfonic acid nano-catalyst with the ability to be recycled more than 20 times. They envision this material to be a replacement in industrial…

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Advance makes thermoelectrics twice as efficient

By / September 12, 2008

Ohio State University researchers say they have invented a new material that “will make cars even more efficient by converting heat wasted through engine exhaust into electricity” and with “twice the energy efficiency” of any thermoelectric material currently on the market. Lead researcher Joseph Heremans, an OSU professor of mechanical engineering and physics, reports on the new…

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Growing smart materials idea comes from trees

By / September 10, 2008

What is the best way to move substances from one place to another – a key consideration when developing complex new “smart” materials? Duke University researchers believe they have found the answer to this question in the canopy of trees. Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, is the developer…

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Brick, stained glass that cleans the air

By / September 5, 2008

We came across two very different stories about passive methods that can produce cleaner air – methods developed centuries apart. First, in a test that may lead to a breakthrough in the reduction of air pollution, the town of Hengelo in the Dutch province of Overijssel is paving one of its roads with concrete brick…

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Thin film energy market to reach $3.9 billion by 2013

By / September 5, 2008

According to a new report from BCC Research the global market for thin film in energy applications is expected to increase from $1.1 billion in 2007 to $1.4 billion in 2008 and $3.9 billion by 2013, for a compound annual growth rate of 23.5 percent. The report divides the market into application segments for photovoltaics,…

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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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Missouri S&T working on bringing hydrogen to market

By / August 25, 2008

A group of researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have received funding from the DOE to develop a real-world overview of the possible uses for hydrogen in the relatively near future. “We need to be realistic about what we can and can’t do with hydrogen right now,” says Dr. Scott Grasman, associate professor…

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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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