Nitrate Reduction Provides Insights into Evolving Electrode Structures

JACS Spotlights April 19, 2022 Wastewater treatments that reduce nitrate to form ammonia not only remove nitrate pollutants, but the resulting ammonia can be used in a variety of industrially useful reactions. William Tarpeh and colleagues recently studied the interacting effects of electrochemical nitrate reduction and the evolving structure and …

New Superatom Is Both Stable and Magnetic

JACS Spotlights March 22, 2022 Superatoms are small symmetric clusters of atoms with electronic states bunched together into closely packed shells. Like their individual-atom counterparts, superatoms with filled shells have the greatest electronic stability. Typical stable octahedral transition metal chalcogenide clusters have a single set of filled electron shells and …

Nanoparticle Assembly: Expanding the Realm of the Possible

JACS Spotlights Feb. 22, 2022 Nanoparticles assemble themselves into a multitude of compositions and structures, and the range of possible applications appears almost limitless. Robert Macfarlane and co-workers give an overview of the history and current state of nanoparticle assembly research, focusing on assembly approaches and emergent properties of the …

New Polymers Survive a Loss of Protection

JACS Spotlights, Feb. 9, 2022 Sulfur-containing organic molecules called thiols and thiocatechols are used in a variety of reactions involving the formation of disulfide bonds, coupling to double and triple bonds, and attachments to metal surfaces. In contrast, their polymer counterparts, thiophenol-pendant and dithiocatechol-pendant polymers, tend to oxidize and form …

Artificial intelligence for real-world mechanical systems

Artificial intelligence offers a wealth of resources for solving complex problems, but accurate predictions and understandable results still require human participation. TLT Feature February 2022 Artificial intelligence offers a wealth of resources for solving complex problems in mechanical friction and wear–helicopter transmissions and gears that are deep inside large machines, …

Bacteria Become Tiny Catalytic Synthesis Vessels

/JACS Spotlights Jan. 26, 2022 Artificial metalloenzymes, made from protein scaffolds incorporating synthetic metal complexes, combine the versatility of transition-metal catalysts with the shape selectivity of enzymes. Until now, getting the metal complex into the cell has been difficult, and the reactivity of artificial enzymes in living cells has been …

An indomitable particle: Colloidal silica takes on extreme environments

Colloidal silica stabilizes the ground under buildings during earthquakes and stops the spread of toxic pollutants below ground. It also preserves ancient carvings in the jungle, keeps the lenses and sensors aboard space vehicles clear and clean, and stands up to the hot, salty environment of petroleum and natural gas wells. It’s being tested as a construction material for 3D printed houses on Earth and for missions to the Moon and Mars. My e-book for W.R. Grace and C&EN BrandLab (gated content, free registration required). https://www.grace.com/blog/colloidal-silica-takes-on-extreme-environments/

The electric vehicle grease industry finds its bearings

Electric vehicles don’t require gasoline, but they do require grease. Existing greases are OK for windshield wipers, door hinges, and window winder mechanisms, but the bearings and gears in the drive train are a different story. High operating temperatures and voltages are key concerns. As current densities increase, so does the risk of stray currents that can pit bearings. Typical electric motor speeds, currently around 15,000 rpm, are expected to exceed 20,000 rpm in the near future.

The brave new world of electric vehicle fluids

Electric vehicle fluids differ in fundamental ways from those used for internal combustion engines—and from each other. TLT October 2021 • Electric vehicle (EV) transmission fluids, which multitask as lubricants and coolants, are likely to be formulated as vehicle design elements, with fill-for-life applications in mind.• EV fluid formulations may …

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