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  • richardmitnick 1:10 pm on February 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A new approach to rechargeable batteries, Chemistry, ,   

    From MIT: “A new approach to rechargeable batteries” 

    MIT News

    MIT Widget

    MIT News

    January 22, 2018 [Just now in social media.]
    David L. Chandler


    A type of battery first invented nearly five decades ago could catapult to the forefront of energy storage technologies, thanks to a new finding by researchers at MIT. Illustration modified from an original image by Felice Frankel

    A type of battery first invented nearly five decades ago could catapult to the forefront of energy storage technologies, thanks to a new finding by researchers at MIT. The battery, based on electrodes made of sodium and nickel chloride and using a new type of metal mesh membrane, could be used for grid-scale installations to make intermittent power sources such as wind and solar capable of delivering reliable baseload electricity.

    The findings are being reported today in the journal Nature Energy, by a team led by MIT professor Donald Sadoway, postdocs Huayi Yin and Brice Chung, and four others.

    Although the basic battery chemistry the team used, based on a liquid sodium electrode material, was first described in 1968, the concept never caught on as a practical approach because of one significant drawback: It required the use of a thin membrane to separate its molten components, and the only known material with the needed properties for that membrane was a brittle and fragile ceramic. These paper-thin membranes made the batteries too easily damaged in real-world operating conditions, so apart from a few specialized industrial applications, the system has never been widely implemented.

    But Sadoway and his team took a different approach, realizing that the functions of that membrane could instead be performed by a specially coated metal mesh, a much stronger and more flexible material that could stand up to the rigors of use in industrial-scale storage systems.

    “I consider this a breakthrough,” Sadoway says, because for the first time in five decades, this type of battery — whose advantages include cheap, abundant raw materials, very safe operational characteristics, and an ability to go through many charge-discharge cycles without degradation — could finally become practical.

    While some companies have continued to make liquid-sodium batteries for specialized uses, “the cost was kept high because of the fragility of the ceramic membranes,” says Sadoway, the John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry. “Nobody’s really been able to make that process work,” including GE, which spent nearly 10 years working on the technology before abandoning the project.

    As Sadoway and his team explored various options for the different components in a molten-metal-based battery, they were surprised by the results of one of their tests using lead compounds. “We opened the cell and found droplets” inside the test chamber, which “would have to have been droplets of molten lead,” he says. But instead of acting as a membrane, as expected, the compound material “was acting as an electrode,” actively taking part in the battery’s electrochemical reaction.

    “That really opened our eyes to a completely different technology,” he says. The membrane had performed its role — selectively allowing certain molecules to pass through while blocking others — in an entirely different way, using its electrical properties rather than the typical mechanical sorting based on the sizes of pores in the material.

    In the end, after experimenting with various compounds, the team found that an ordinary steel mesh coated with a solution of titanium nitride could perform all the functions of the previously used ceramic membranes, but without the brittleness and fragility. The results could make possible a whole family of inexpensive and durable materials practical for large-scale rechargeable batteries.

    The use of the new type of membrane can be applied to a wide variety of molten-electrode battery chemistries, he says, and opens up new avenues for battery design. “The fact that you can build a sodium-sulfur type of battery, or a sodium/nickel-chloride type of battery, without resorting to the use of fragile, brittle ceramic — that changes everything,” he says.

    The work could lead to inexpensive batteries large enough to make intermittent, renewable power sources practical for grid-scale storage, and the same underlying technology could have other applications as well, such as for some kinds of metal production, Sadoway says.

    Sadoway cautions that such batteries would not be suitable for some major uses, such as cars or phones. Their strong point is in large, fixed installations where cost is paramount, but size and weight are not, such as utility-scale load leveling. In those applications, inexpensive battery technology could potentially enable a much greater percentage of intermittent renewable energy sources to take the place of baseload, always-available power sources, which are now dominated by fossil fuels.

    The research team included Fei Chen, a visiting scientist from Wuhan University of Technology; Nobuyuki Tanaka, a visiting scientist from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency; MIT research scientist Takanari Ouchi; and postdocs Huayi Yin, Brice Chung, and Ji Zhao. The work was supported by the French oil company Total S.A. through the MIT Energy Initiative.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 1:47 pm on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Chemistry, , Life and death of proteins   

    From EMBL: “Life and death of proteins” 

    EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory bloc

    European Molecular Biology Laboratory

    15 February 2018
    Berta Carreño

    EMBL scientists create a turnover catalogue of almost 10.000 proteins from primary cells

    1
    Architecture dependent turnover of the nuclear pore subunits. Top row shows the nuclear pore subunits seen from top, bottom row shows subunits of the nuclear pore cut in half. IMAGE: Jan Kosinski/EMBL.

    Proteins perform countless functions in the cell, including transporting molecules, speeding up metabolic reactions and forming structural parts of the cell such as the nuclear pore complex. Protein turnover is a measure of the difference between protein synthesis and protein degradation and it is an important indicator of a cell’s activity in health and disease.

    EMBL group leaders Mikhail Savitski and Martin Beck, in close collaboration with Cellzome scientists Marcus Bantscheff and Toby Mathieson, have improved the accuracy of the detection of small changes in protein turnover by developing a better algorithmic treatment of raw mass spectrometry data. As a result, the researchers have published a turnover catalogue of 9699 unique proteins in Nature Communications. The paper focuses on protein complexes and demonstrates that subunits of protein complexes have consistent turnover rates.

    What did you do?

    We wanted to study protein homeostasis, or the balanced process behind protein synthesis and degradation in primary cells extracted from blood or living tissue. Primary cells provide a better understanding of the in vivo situation than cultured cells but, unfortunately, they have a short lifespan when compared to the protein complexes we wanted to study. To overcome this problem, we developed a better algorithmic treatment of raw mass spectrometry data. The improved algorithm accurately determines very small changes in proteins, allowing us to measure the turnover of 9699 unique proteins, including very long-lived proteins, such as the Histone H1.2 protein which has a half-life of 2242 hours. For the first time, we have a view of protein turnover at a cellular scale in several primary cell types, which will be a valuable resource for the scientific community.

    We focused our analysis on protein complexes, particularly on the nuclear pore complex, which is very big and is composed of several sub-complexes. We discovered that there are protein turnover levels that are specific to a given sub-complex. Proteins which are peripheral to the complex, that joined later in evolution, turn out to have much faster turnover than the ones that form the core structure and have been there for a longer time. Contrary to previous understanding, our data clearly suggests that there is a turnover mechanism for the nuclear pore in non-dividing cells. This is exciting because it opens new research in this direction.

    Why is understanding protein turnover important?

    Protein turnover is important for understanding cellular homeostasis. Our work delineates the tools to study the mechanisms controlling it and will help researchers study a wide range of things, such as ageing, brain function, cancer and neurodegeneration.

    Science paper:
    Systematic analysis of protein turnover in primary cells, Nature Communications.

    See the full article here .

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    EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory campus

    EMBL is Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences, with more than 80 independent groups covering the spectrum of molecular biology. EMBL is international, innovative and interdisciplinary – its 1800 employees, from many nations, operate across five sites: the main laboratory in Heidelberg, and outstations in Grenoble; Hamburg; Hinxton, near Cambridge (the European Bioinformatics Institute), and Monterotondo, near Rome. Founded in 1974, EMBL is an inter-governmental organisation funded by public research monies from its member states. The cornerstones of EMBL’s mission are: to perform basic research in molecular biology; to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to offer vital services to scientists in the member states; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and actively engage in technology transfer activities, and to integrate European life science research. Around 200 students are enrolled in EMBL’s International PhD programme. Additionally, the Laboratory offers a platform for dialogue with the general public through various science communication activities such as lecture series, visitor programmes and the dissemination of scientific achievements.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:25 am on February 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Chemistry, Methane,   

    From JPL-Caltech: “NASA-led Study Solves a Methane Puzzle” 

    NASA JPL Banner

    JPL-Caltech

    January 2, 2018
    Alan Buis
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
    818-354-0474
    Alan.Buis@jpl.nasa.gov

    Written by Carol Rasmussen
    NASA’s Earth Science News Team

    1
    A reduction in global burned area in the 2000s had an unexpectedly large impact on methane emissions. Credit: NASA/GSFC/SVS.

    A new NASA-led study has solved a puzzle involving the recent rise in atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas, with a new calculation of emissions from global fires. The new study resolves what looked like irreconcilable differences in explanations for the increase.

    Methane emissions have been rising sharply since 2006. Different research teams have produced viable estimates for two known sources of the increase: emissions from the oil and gas industry, and microbial production in wet tropical environments like marshes and rice paddies. But when these estimates were added to estimates of other sources, the sum was considerably more than the observed increase. In fact, each new estimate was large enough to explain the whole increase by itself.

    Scientist John Worden of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and colleagues focused on fires because they’re also changing globally. The area burned each year decreased about 12 percent between the early 2000s and the more recent period of 2007 to 2014, according to a new study using observations by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer satellite instrument. The logical assumption would be that methane emissions from fires have decreased by about the same percentage. Using satellite measurements of methane and carbon monoxide, Worden’s team found the real decrease in methane emissions was almost twice as much as that assumption would suggest.

    When the research team subtracted this large decrease from the sum of all emissions, the methane budget balanced correctly, with room for both fossil fuel and wetland increases. The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.

    Most methane molecules in the atmosphere don’t have identifying features that reveal their origin. Tracking down their sources is a detective job involving multiple lines of evidence: measurements of other gases, chemical analyses, isotopic signatures, observations of land use, and more. “A fun thing about this study was combining all this different evidence to piece this puzzle together,” Worden said.

    Carbon isotopes in the methane molecules are one clue. Of the three methane sources examined in the new study, emissions from fires contain the largest percentage of heavy carbon isotopes, microbial emissions have the smallest, and fossil fuel emissions are in between. Another clue is ethane, which (like methane) is a component of natural gas. An increase in atmospheric ethane indicates increasing fossil fuel sources. Fires emit carbon monoxide as well as methane, and measurements of that gas are a final clue.

    Worden’s team used carbon monoxide and methane data from the Measurements of Pollutants in the Troposphere instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite and the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer instrument on NASA’s Aura to quantify fire emissions of methane. The results show these emissions have been decreasing much more rapidly than expected.

    Combining isotopic evidence from ground surface measurements with the newly calculated fire emissions, the team showed that about 17 teragrams per year of the increase is due to fossil fuels, another 12 is from wetlands or rice farming, while fires are decreasing by about 4 teragrams per year. The three numbers combine to 25 teragrams a year — the same as the observed increase.

    Worden’s coauthors are at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado; and the Netherlands Institute for Space Research and University of Utrecht, both in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    See the full article here .

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    Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge [1], on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

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  • richardmitnick 2:45 pm on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Breaking bad metals with neutrons, Chemistry, , , , , STFC ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source   

    From ANL: “Breaking bad metals with neutrons” 

    ANL Lab

    News from Argonne National Laboratory

    January 11, 2018
    Ron Walli

    `
    A comparison of the theoretical calculations (top row) and inelastic neutron scattering data from ARCS at the Spallation Neutron Source (bottom row) shows the excellent agreement between the two. The three figures represent different slices through the four-dimensional scattering volumes produced by the electronic excitations. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

    By exploiting the properties of neutrons to probe electrons in a metal, a team of researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has gained new insight into the behavior of correlated electron systems, which are materials that have useful properties such as magnetism or superconductivity.

    The research, to be published in Science, shows how well scientists can predict the properties and functionality of materials, allowing us to explore their potential to be used in novel ways.

    “Our mission from the Department of Energy is to discover and then understand novel materials that could form the basis for completely new applications,” said lead author Ray Osborn, a senior scientist in Argonne’s Neutron and X-ray Scattering Group.

    Osborn and his colleagues studied a strongly correlated electron system (CePd3) using neutron scattering to overcome the limitations of other techniques and reveal how the compound’s electrical properties change at high and low temperatures. Osborn expects the results to inspire similar research.

    “Being able to predict with confidence the behavior of electrons as temperatures change should encourage a much more ambitious coupling of experimental results and models than has been previously attempted,” Osborn said.

    “In many metals, we consider the mobile electrons responsible for electrical conduction as moving independently of each other, only weakly affected by electron-electron repulsion,” he said. “However, there is an important class of materials in which electron-electron interactions are so strong they cannot be ignored.”

    Scientists have studied these strongly correlated electron systems for more than five decades, and one of the most important theoretical predictions is that at high temperatures the electron interactions cause random fluctuations that impede their mobility.

    “They become ‘bad’ metals,” Osborn said. However, at low temperatures, the electronic excitations start to resemble those of normal metals, but with much-reduced electron velocities.

    The existence of this crossover from incoherent random fluctuations at high temperature to coherent electronic states at low temperature had been postulated in 1985 by one of the co-authors, Jon Lawrence, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. Although there is some evidence for it in photoemission experiments, Argonne co-author Stephan Rosenkranz noted that it is very difficult to compare these measurements with realistic theoretical calculations because there are too many uncertainties in modeling the experimental intensities.

    The team, based mainly at Argonne and other DOE laboratories, showed that neutrons probe the electrons in a different way that overcomes the limitations of photoemission spectroscopy and other techniques.

    Making this work possible are advances in neutron spectroscopy at DOE’s Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and the United Kingdom’s ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source, which allow comprehensive measurements over a wide range of energies and momentum transfers. Both played critical roles in this study.

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source


    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source

    2
    STFC ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source.

    “Neutrons are absolutely essential for this research,” Osborn said. “Neutron scattering is the only technique that is sensitive to the whole spectrum of electronic fluctuations in four dimensions of momentum and energy, and the only technique that can be reliably compared to realistic theoretical calculations on an absolute intensity scale.”

    With this study, these four-dimensional measurements have now been directly compared to calculations using new computational techniques specially developed for strongly correlated electron systems. The technique, known as Dynamical Mean Field Theory, defines a way of calculating electronic properties that include strong electron-electron interactions.

    Osborn acknowledged the contributions of Eugene Goremychkin, a former Argonne scientist who led the data analysis, and Argonne theorist Hyowon Park, who performed the calculations. The agreement between theory and experiments was “truly remarkable,” Osborn said.

    Looking ahead, researchers are optimistic about closing the gap between the results of condensed matter physics experiments and theoretical models.

    “How do you get to a stage where the models are reliable?” Osborn said. “This paper shows that we can now theoretically model even extremely complex systems. These techniques could accelerate our discovery of new materials.”

    Other Argonne authors of the paper, titled Coherent Band Excitations in CePd3: A Comparison of Neutron Scattering and ab initio Theory, are Park and John-Paul Castellan of the Materials Science Division. Also contributing to this work were researchers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia; the University of Illinois at Chicago; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California at Irvine.

    Research at Argonne and Los Alamos was funded by DOE’s Materials Sciences and Engineering Division of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Research at Oak Ridge’s SNS was supported by the Scientific User Facilities Division of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Neutron experiments were performed at the SNS and the ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK. Blues, a high-performance computing cluster operated by the Laboratory Computing Resource Center at Argonne, also contributed to this research.

    See the full article here .

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    Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more visit http://www.anl.gov.

    The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is one of five national synchrotron radiation light sources supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to carry out applied and basic research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels, provide the foundations for new energy technologies, and support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security. To learn more about the Office of Science X-ray user facilities, visit http://science.energy.gov/user-facilities/basic-energy-sciences/.

    Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science

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  • richardmitnick 6:32 pm on January 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Benzonitrile, , Chemistry, , , GBT Detection Unlocks Exploration of 'Aromatic' Interstellar Chemistry, PAHs-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,   

    From CfA: “GBT Detection Unlocks Exploration of ‘Aromatic’ Interstellar Chemistry” 

    Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


    Center For Astrophysics

    January 11, 2018

    Megan Watzke
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    +1 617-496-7998
    mwatzke@cfa.harvard.edu

    Peter Edmonds
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    +1 617-571-7279
    pedmonds@cfa.harvard.edu

    1
    The aromatic molecule benzonitrile was detected by the GBT in the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 (TMC-1). B. McGuire, B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF).

    Astronomers had a mystery on their hands. No matter where they looked, from inside the Milky Way to distant galaxies, they observed a puzzling glow of infrared light. This faint cosmic light, which presents itself as a series of spikes in the infrared spectrum, had no easily identifiable source. It seemed unrelated to any recognizable cosmic feature, like giant interstellar clouds, star-forming regions, or supernova remnants. It was ubiquitous and a bit baffling.

    The likely culprit, scientists eventually deduced, was the intrinsic infrared emission from a class of organic molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which, scientists would later discover, are amazingly plentiful; nearly 10 percent of all the carbon in the universe is tied up in PAHs.

    Even though, as a group, PAHs seemed to be the answer to this mystery, none of the hundreds of PAH molecules known to exist had ever been conclusively detected in interstellar space.

    New data from the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) show, for the first time, the convincing radio fingerprints of a close cousin and chemical precursor to PAHs, the molecule benzonitrile (C₆H₅CN).



    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA

    This detection may finally provide the “smoking gun” that PAHs are indeed spread throughout interstellar space and account for the mysterious infrared light astronomers had been observing.

    The results of this study are presented today at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Washington, D.C., and published in the journal Science.

    The science team, led by chemist Brett McGuire from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, detected this molecule’s telltale radio signature coming from a nearby star-forming nebula known as the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 (TCM-1), which is about 430 light-years from Earth.

    “These new radio observations have given us more insights than infrared observations can provide,” said McGuire. “Though we haven’t yet observed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons directly, we understand their chemistry quite well. We can now follow the chemical breadcrumbs from simple molecules like benzonitrile to these larger PAHs.”

    Though benzonitrile is one of the simplest so-called aromatic molecules, it is in fact the largest molecule ever seen by radio astronomy. It also is the first 6-atom aromatic ring (a hexagonal array of carbon atoms bristling with hydrogen atoms) molecule ever detected with a radio telescope. A

    While aromatic rings are commonplace in molecules seen here on Earth (they are found in everything from food to medicine), but one of this type had not previously been this is the first such ring molecule ever observed in space with radio telescopes. Its unique structure enabled the scientists to tease out its distinctive radio signature, which is the “gold standard” when confirming the presence of molecules in space.

    As molecules tumble in the near vacuum of interstellar space, they give off a distinctive signature, a series of telltale spikes that appear in the radio spectrum. Larger and more complex molecules have a correspondingly more-complex signature, making them harder to detect. PAHs and other aromatic molecules are even more difficult to detect because they typically form with very symmetrical structures.

    To produce a clear radio fingerprint, molecules must be somewhat asymmetrical. Molecules with more uniform structures, like many PAHs, can have very weak signatures or no signature at all..

    “The evidence that the GBT allowed us to amass for this detection is incredible,” said McGuire. “As we look for yet larger and more interesting molecules, we will need the sensitivity of the GBT, which has unique capabilities as a cosmic molecule detector.”

    Benzonitrile’s lopsided chemical arrangement produces strong signals as the molecule rotates, but the pattern of these signals needed to be measured very precisely here on Earth first, so that the team could match the pattern with radio observations. McGuire worked in the laboratory of Michael McCarthy at the CfA to determine the spectra fingerprint unique to benzonitrile, which then allowed the team to identify nine distinct spikes in the radio spectrum that correspond to the molecule. They also could observe the additional effects of nitrogen atom nuclei on the radio signature.

    “This discovery is another beautifully illustrates the importance and power of closely coordinating radio observations with precise measurements in the laboratory; by doing so scientists can greatly increase the speed and confidence with which we can understand the exquisite chemical richness of space,” added McCarthy.

    See the full article here .

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    The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory (HCO), founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:45 am on January 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Argo floats, , Chemistry, , CSIRO’s Research Vessel "Investigator", Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Laboratoire d’Océanographie et du Climat (LOCEAN France), , Scripps Research Institute (USA), The vast Southern Ocean plays a major role in how climate variability and change will play out in future decades, These new generation data-collecting autonomous ocean robots will provide unprecedented information about oceans up to depths of 5000 metres   

    From CSIRO: “Deep diving for answers on climate” 

    CSIRO bloc

    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

    10 Jan 2018
    Chris Gerbing
    Chris.Gerbing@csiro.au
    +61 3 9545 2312

    1
    Dr Steve Rintoul is leading research to the Antarctic edge, deploying the first ever deep Argo floats in the region. ©Peter Mathew.

    For the first time scientists will deploy new model deep sea Argo floats in the Southern Ocean that will help build our understanding of oceans, how they are warming and the impact on our climate.

    A global network of over 3800 Argo floats already provide us with an understanding of ocean temperature and salinity up to 2000 metres, however these new generation, data-collecting, autonomous ocean robots will provide unprecedented information about oceans up to depths of 5000 metres.

    The deep water Argo floats will be deployed as part of a six-week research expedition that will set sail for Antarctica tomorrow aboard CSIRO’s Research Vessel “Investigator”.

    Researchers will be investigating climate contributions of the deep ocean, clouds and atmospheric aerosols through a series of projects that will fill information gaps about the magnitude and pace of future climate change.

    Voyage Chief Scientist Dr Steve Rintoul, from CSIRO and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, said research from the voyage would provide unique information about the Southern Hemisphere’s ocean’s capacity to continue to absorb heat and carbon dioxide.

    “The world’s climate is strongly influenced by the oceans, and the vast Southern Ocean plays a major role in how climate variability and change will play out in future decades,” Dr Rintoul said.

    “We already know that the Southern Ocean makes important contributions to global sea level change through taking up more heat than any other ocean on Earth and through influencing how fast the Antarctic Ice Sheet loses mass.

    “To understand this system we need comprehensive and continuous measurements over a huge area of ocean, which has been very difficult in the past.”

    Dr Rintoul’s team will be deploying 11 deep-water floats near the Antarctic edge that have been supplied by the Scripps Research Institute (USA), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and Laboratoire d’Océanographie et du Climat (LOCEAN, France).

    “It’s the first time these next-generation deep water Argo floats will be deployed near Antarctica. By providing year-round measurements through the full ocean depth, the floats will fill a massive data gap for the climate research community,” Dr Rintoul said.

    Scientists from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre will also be making measurements of trace elements like iron, using ultra-clean techniques to avoid contamination. Phytoplankton, like humans, need small amounts of iron to be healthy. The voyage will help identify what controls how much biological activity occurs in the Southern Ocean.

    During the Investigator’s journey, an international team of scientists from agencies including CSIRO, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the University of Utah, will conduct experiments to explore the interaction between aerosols and clouds.

    Clouds and aerosols, which occur naturally and from greenhouse gases, both reflect and absorb heat from the sun, but as greenhouse gases change globally, so will this interaction.

    Bureau of Meteorology Project Leader Dr Alain Protat said that the experiments will use a unique combination of aircraft, ship-based and satellite observations to collect detailed data on clouds and the interactions between incoming radiation, aerosol production, and then the formation of precipitation.

    “The Southern Ocean region is the cloudiest place on Earth, yet we don’t understand why these clouds are different from clouds in other regions – the lack of pollution over this remote region is a possible explanation, which we will explore with these unprecedented observations,” Dr Protat said.

    “We know from reference satellite observations that global climate models struggle to represent the energy balance at the Earth’s surface over the Southern Ocean region, and what that means for the accuracy of future climate predictions is largely unknown.

    “The complexity of the problem requires collocated, state-of-the art, measurements of aerosol, clouds, precipitation and radiation to understand the interactions and feedbacks between them.”

    Ocean and atmospheric research conducted aboard the Investigator will provide valuable and unique insights to inform knowledge of climate change and sea level rise projections.

    The Investigator is run by the Marine National Facility and is Australia’s only blue-water research vessel, enabling scientists from across Australia and the world to study from the equator to Antarctica.

    See the full article here .

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    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:38 pm on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Chemistry, , , Laser Technology for space, Mars 2020 ESA and NASA,   

    From ESA: “Exploring alien worlds with lasers” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency

    10 January 2018
    No writer credit found

    In everyday life we look and touch things to find out what they are made of. A powerful scientific technique does the same using lasers – and in two years’ time it will fly in space for the first time.

    A researcher working with ESA has been investigating how lasers might be used in future space missions.

    “We fire a laser at a material of interest,” explains Melissa McHugh of Leicester University in the UK, “and measure how much its colour is changed as it scatters off the surface, to identify the molecules responsible.

    “This is a well-established technique terrestrially – used in all kinds of fields from security to pharmacology to art history – either in labs or using hand-held devices.”

    ESA’s ExoMars rover will carry the first such unit into space in 2020 to help search out potential biomarkers of past or present life on Mars, and mineral remnants of the planet’s warm, wet past.

    1
    ESA ExoMars rover should be launched in 2020.

    “My research has been looking at how far we can extend the technique in future,” adds Melissa.

    “ESA’s rover will fire its laser at crushed samples that have been taken inside but we can also use the technique at larger distances – it has already been done across hundreds of metres.”

    NASA’s own 2020 Mars Rover will carry a similar instrument on an external mast for remote sensing of promising rock outcrops.

    NASA Mars Rover 2020 NASA

    “There’s been a lot of work here on Earth to extend this technique,” says Melissa, “to help detect explosives, for instance, or nuclear materials.

    “It requires a powerful pulsed laser, plus a sensitive synchronised camera to detect the reflected light – bearing in mind that only one in a million photons from the laser are scattered.”

    Indian scientist Chandrasekhara Raman was awarded a Nobel Prize for discovering the effect, following his interest in understanding why the sea looks blue.

    With the technology about to be proven in flight, mission planners are looking into follow-up applications for space, and Melissa’s research focuses on establishing what can and can’t be done.

    “There’s a lot of excitement in taking this powerful technique and using it on other planets,” she comments, “but of course there are all kinds of mass, volume and data relay restrictions.

    “Part of my work involves giving teams a reliable estimate of how well their device would perform in different configurations: what kind of laser, what type of samples, what manner of ambient light conditions?

    “For instance, there’s some indication that rather than requiring sophisticated instruments for remote sensing, there are ways to optimise existing space-qualified CCD cameras to make them suitable.”

    Melissa made several visits to ESA’s technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to make use of its facilities. For example, she exposed instruments to radiation to assess how their performance would degrade in the harsh conditions of the Moon, Mars or deep space.

    Networking/Partnering Initiative

    Melissa’s work has been supported through ESA’s Networking/Partnering Initiative, which supports work carried out by universities and research institutes on advanced technologies with potential space applications, with the aim of fostering increased interaction between ESA, European universities, research institutes and industry.

    See the full article here .

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    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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  • richardmitnick 8:50 am on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ‘Gyroscope’ molecules form crystal that’s both solid and full of motion, , BODCA-MOF, Chemistry, Compasses and gyroscopes, Crystalline solid with elements that can move as fast inside the crystal as they would in outer space, ,   

    From UCLA Newsroom: “‘Gyroscope’ molecules form crystal that’s both solid and full of motion” 


    UCLA Newsroom

    January 09, 2018
    Sarah C.P. Williams

    New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science.

    1
    UCLA researchers formed a crystal out of molecules that each has a solid exterior but contains moving parts. Kendall Houk Laboratory/UCLA.

    Molecular machines, much smaller than single cells, may one day be able to deliver drugs to kill cancer cells or patrol your body for signs of disease. But many applications of these machines require large arrays of rock-hard moving parts, which would be difficult to build with typical biological structures.

    Molecules that makes up the solid crystals found in nature are generally so tightly packed together that there’s no room for any of them to move. So despite their strength and durability, solid crystals have generally not been considered for applications in molecular machines, which must have moving parts that can respond to stimuli.

    Now, UCLA researchers have formed a crystal out of molecules that resemble gyroscopes with solid frames. Since each molecule has an exterior case surrounding a rotating axis, the crystal has a solid exterior but contains moving parts.

    The new crystal, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first proof that a single material can be both static and moving, or amphidynamic.

    “For the first time, we have a crystalline solid with elements that can move as fast inside the crystal as they would in outer space,” said Miguel García-Garibay, a UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry and senior author of the study.

    To create repetitive arrays of molecular machines, or smart materials, researchers have often turned to liquid crystals, which are engineered to use in LCD television screens but also are found in nature. But liquid crystals are relatively slow: Each molecule must entirely change orientation to alter how it interacts with light, to change color or show a new image on a screen, for instance.

    García-Garibay and colleagues set out to design a crystalline solid with faster-moving parts. As a starting point, they considered larger, everyday objects that they might be able to replicate at a microscopic scale.

    “Two objects we found to be very interesting were compasses and gyroscopes,” said García-Garibay, who also is dean of physical sciences in the UCLA College. “We began to create large-scale models; I literally ordered a few hundred toy compasses and started building structures out of them.”

    There were two keys to mimicking a compass or gyroscope at a smaller scale, the researchers found. First, the structure’s exterior case had to be strong enough to maintain its shape around mostly empty space. Second, the interior rotating component had to be as close to spherical as possible.

    After some trial and error, the team designed a structure that worked: a metallo-organic case containing both metal ions and a carbon backbone surrounding a spherical molecule called bicyclooctane. In experiments, the resulting compound — 1,4-bicyclo[2.2.2]octane dicarboxylic acid, a metal-organic framework that the researchers called BODCA-MOF — behaved as an amphidynamic material.

    Not only that, but computer simulations of the crystal confirmed what the experiments were showing: the constantly-spinning BODCA spheres were each rotating at up to 50 billion rotations per second, as fast as they would have in empty space, whether they were rotating clockwise or counterclockwise.

    “We were able to use the equations of physics to validate the motions that were occurring in this structure,” said Kendall Houk, UCLA’s Saul Winstein Professor of Organic Chemistry and one of the paper’s authors. “It’s an amazing discovery that you can have extremely rapid motions inside this thing that externally is like a rock.”

    Having proven that such a compound can exist, the researchers now plan to try introducing new properties into BODCA-MOF that would allow an electric, magnetic or chemical stimulus to alter the molecules’ motion.

    “The ultimate goal is to be able to control motion in these molecular machines so that we can create materials that respond to external stimuli,” García-Garibay said. That could lead to faster computer and electronic displays, he added, or technologies that interact with radar, sonar or chemicals.

    “With such low barriers for rotation, the results mark substantial progress toward freely rotating molecular components embedded in a crystalline matrix, and toward potential functionality,” said Stuart Brown, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, and another author of the paper.

    The study’s other authors are Cortnie Vogelsberg, a former graduate student, and Song Yang, a current graduate student, both in UCLA’s chemistry and biochemistry department; Fernando Uribe-Romo of the University of Central Florida; and Andrew Lipton of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

    Funding for the study was provided by the National Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .

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    UC LA Campus

    For nearly 100 years, UCLA has been a pioneer, persevering through impossibility, turning the futile into the attainable.

    We doubt the critics, reject the status quo and see opportunity in dissatisfaction. Our campus, faculty and students are driven by optimism. It is not naïve; it is essential. And it has fueled every accomplishment, allowing us to redefine what’s possible, time after time.

    This can-do perspective has brought us 12 Nobel Prizes, 12 Rhodes Scholarships, more NCAA titles than any university and more Olympic medals than most nations. Our faculty and alumni helped create the Internet and pioneered reverse osmosis. And more than 100 companies have been created based on technology developed at UCLA.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:58 am on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Atoms rearrange in electrolyte and control ion flow under tough conditions, , Chemistry,   

    From EMSL at PNNL:” Atoms rearrange in electrolyte and control ion flow under tough conditions” 

    EMSL

    at PNNL

    EMSL

    December 15, 2017
    From Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Physical Sciences Division

    First-time-ever-seen structures around hematite offer insights to advance geoscience, catalysis models.

    1
    The interface between iron-rich hematite (bottom) and water (top) changes as the surface becomes electrically charged. Oxygen atoms (red) re-arrange on the surface, filling in any spots where oxygen atoms were missing. Image: Nathan Johnson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

    Minerals that make up rocks and soils are thrown out of equilibrium when the chemistry of their surroundings changes. Shifts in pH or the concentration of ions in water make minerals dissolve, grow, or react in other ways. These reactions are influenced by the arrangement of atoms at the interface — where minerals and water touch. Historically, it has been hard to study these structures while reactions are proceeding because the interface is constantly changing, limiting our understanding of how the structures control reaction speed.

    Now, a team led by Kevin Rosso at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) achieved the first 3-D view of the atomic structure at the interface of water and the mineral hematite as the reactions occur. The new view showed how the interfacial structure is different while it’s reacting, and how these differences might control the flow of ions into the environment.

    Why It Matters: Water, whether it’s used to grow crops or is split apart to make hydrogen fuel, accurately modeling water’s behavior is vital. This work is the first systematic study of the tiny structures that form at the interface of water and the abundant iron-rich mineral hematite when this interface is far from equilibrium. The research offers key insights about the interface and far-from-equilibrium conditions that influence the interface.

    “These precise measurements will help us build better models of reactions vital to groundwater quality, solar water splitting, and much more,” said Martin McBriarty, a PNNL geoscientist on the project.

    Summary: The minerals that make up rocks and soils are often out of equilibrium with their surroundings, especially as environmental conditions change. Minerals respond by dissolving, growing, or transferring charge with their environment. These processes are influenced by the atomic-scale structure at their interface with water. Often the only way to study these structures is when the interface is not changing.

    Now, researchers at PNNL and the University of Chicago obtained the first 3-D view of the atomic structure at the interface of water and the mineral hematite while the hematite is acting as an electrode. The team saw how the atoms at the hematite surface and water molecules nearby responded to far-from-equilibrium conditions caused by electrically charging the interface. When the surface was negatively charged, some water molecules became stuck to the surface, while other water molecules became disordered and moved away from the surface.

    What do these structural changes mean? The flow of electrical charge and ions are controlled by the structure while the interface is charged, and the stronger binding of water molecules at the surface might explain why hematite dissolves more slowly than predicted.

    The team’s approach to solving these far-from-equilibrium structures could be used to study other interfaces. This is the first systematic study of the atomic- to nano-scale structure of a common mineral-water interface poised far from equilibrium. The research offers a major advance to accurately modeling reactions important to everything from groundwater quality, to energy extraction from the subsurface, to solar water splitting.

    Acknowledgments

    Sponsors: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences

    User Facilities: X-ray scattering crystal truncation rod measurements were performed at GeoSoilEnviroCARS (University of Chicago, Sector 13), Advanced Photon Source, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility operated by Argonne National Laboratory; GeoSoilEnviroCARS is supported by the National Science Foundation and DOE; Cascade supercomputer and experimental capabilities at Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a national science user facility sponsored by DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Research Team: Martin McBriarty and Kevin Rosso, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Joanne Stubbs and Peter Eng, University of Chicago

    Reference: ME McBriarty, JE Stubbs, PJ Eng, and KM Rosso. 2017. “Potential-Specific Structure at the Hematite-Electrolyte Interface.” Advanced Functional Materials. Early edition. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201705618

    See the full article here .

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    EMSL campus

    Welcome to EMSL. EMSL is a national scientific user facility that is funded and sponsored by DOE’s Office of Biological & Environmental Research. As a user facility, our scientific capabilities – people, instruments and facilities – are available for use by the global research community. We support BER’s mission to provide innovative solutions to the nation’s environmental and energy production challenges in areas such as atmospheric aerosols, feedstocks, global carbon cycling, biogeochemistry, subsurface science and energy materials.

    A deep understanding of molecular-level processes is critical to gaining a predictive, systems-level understanding of the impacts of aerosols and terrestrial systems on climate change; making clean, affordable, abundant energy; and cleaning up our legacy wastes. Visit our Science page to learn how EMSL leads in these areas, through our Science Themes.

    Team’s in Our DNA. We approach science differently than many institutions. We believe in – and have proven – the value of drawing together members of the scientific community and assembling the people, resources and facilities to solve problems. It’s in our DNA, since our founder Dr. Wiley’s initial call to create a user facility that would facilitate “synergism between the physical, mathematical, and life sciences.” We integrate experts across disciplines; experiment with theory; and our user program proposal calls with other user facilities.

    We proudly provide an enriched, customized experience that allows users to connect with our people and capabilities in an environment where we focus on solving problems. We collaborate with researchers from academia, government labs and industry, and from nearly all 50 states and from other countries.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:28 pm on January 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andrea Adamo and Jennifer Baltz, , , Chemistry, Drug manufacturing that’s out of this world, , Zaiput Flow Technologies   

    From MIT: “Drug manufacturing that’s out of this world” 

    MIT News

    MIT Widget

    MIT News

    January 5, 2018
    Rob Matheson

    1
    In the continuous-flow liquid-liquid separator developed by MIT spinout Zaiput Flow Technologies, liquid mix (blue and pink) is pumped through a feed tube to a porous polymer membrane (dotted line). One liquid (pink) is drawn to the surface of the membrane, while the other (blue) is repelled. An internal mechanical pressure controller maintains a slight pressure differential between the two sides of the membrane. This pushes the attracted liquid through the membrane without the repelled one, sending each liquid through separate tubes. Courtesy of Zaiput Flow Technologies.

    Continuous-flow chemistry device used for drug production could find use in long-duration space missions.

    Liquid-liquid separation and chemical extraction are key processes in drug manufacturing and many other industries, including oil and gas, fragrances, food, wastewater filtration, and biotechnology.

    Three years ago, MIT spinout Zaiput Flow Technologies launched a novel continuous-flow liquid-liquid separator that makes those processes faster, easier, and more efficient. Today, nine pharmaceutical giants and a growing number of academic labs and small companies use the separator.

    Having proved its efficacy on Earth, the separator is now being tested as a tool for manufacturing drugs and synthesizing chemicals in outer space.

    In 2015, Zaiput won a Galactic Grant from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space that allows companies to test technologies on the International Space Station (ISS). On Dec. 15, after two years of development and preparation, Zaiput launched its separator in a SpaceX rocket as part of the CRS-13 cargo resupply mission that will last one month.

    As long-duration space travel and extraterrestrial habitation becomes a potential reality, it’s important to find ways to synthesize chemicals for drugs, food, fuels, and other products in space that may be important for those missions, says Zaiput co-founder and CEO Andrea Adamo SM ’03, who co-invented the separator in the lab of Klavs Jensen, the Warren K. Lewis Professor of Chemical Engineering. Notably, Zaiput’s separator, called SEP-10, separates liquids without the need for gravity, which is a trademark of traditional methods.

    “When people go on deep space explorations, or maybe to Mars, these are multiyear missions,” Adamo says. “But how do you synthesize chemicals for drugs and other products without gravity? We have that answer. Testing our unit in space will show that what we have done on Earth is fully exportable to space.”

    Results from the ISS experiments will prove that the device indeed functions in zero-gravity, which is basically impossible to verify on Earth. And, they will help the startup refine the device, Adamo says: “MIT strives for excellence and we inherited that model — we’re still striving for excellence.”

    Surface forces

    In traditional liquid-liquid separators, a mixture of two liquids of different densities is fed into a funnel-shaped settling tank. The heavier liquid sinks and can be drained out through a valve, away from the lighter liquid, which stays on top. But the separation process is time-consuming, and some chemicals can decay or become unstable while sitting in the tank.

    Instead of leveraging gravity, Zaiput’s separator uses surface forces to attract or repel a liquid from a membrane. As an example, consider a nonstick pan: Oil spreads on the pan, but water beads up because it has an affinity to bond with the polymer covering the pan, while oil does not.

    Zaiput’s separator uses the same principle. A mixture of liquids is pumped through a feed tube and travels to a porous polymer membrane. One liquid is drawn to the surface of the membrane, while the other is repelled. An internal mechanical pressure controller maintains a slight pressure differential between one side of the membrane and the other. This differential is just enough to push the attracted liquid through the porous membrane without pushing the repelled one. The attracted liquid then goes out through one tube, while allowing the repelled liquid to flow out through a separate tube. Flow rates range from 0 to 12 milliliters per minute.

    “If you want to use this for a continuous operation in a reliable way, you have to carefully control pressure conditions across membranes,” Adamo says. “You want a little bit of pressure, so the chemical goes through, but not too much to push through the unwanted liquid. The internal controller ensures this happens at all times.”

    Zaiput’s separator also improves chemical extraction, which is different from liquid separation. Imagine working with a mixture of wine and oil. Liquid separation means separating the mixture into individual flows, of wine and oil. Extraction, however, means removing the ethanol chemical from the wine, along with separating the liquids, which is of interest to chemists.

    For chemical extraction, a “feed” liquid that contains a target chemical for extraction and a “solvent” — which is incapable of mixing with the feed liquid — are combined in a tube that flows toward the separation device. The solvent captures the target chemical from the feed because the chemical is soluble in it; the separation devices then separate two streams, with the solvent containing the target chemical. In the wine-oil example, the ethanol would be removed by the oil solvent.

    Zaiput units can be equipped with different types of membranes to achieve specific effects, or connected in a series of units.

    Importantly, Adamo says, Zaiput’s continuous-flow, membrane-based separator allows for separation of emulsions, whereby small droplets of one liquid end up in the other liquid, never fully separating. “We don’t have that issue, because we don’t need to wait for liquids to settle,” Adamo says. “We are the only technology that provides continuous separation, can readily separate emulsions, and is also designed for safety, so if you’re dealing with explosive or toxic substances, you can process them quickly.”

    Beautifying and scaling up

    Adamo came to MIT in the early 2000s as a civil engineer. Conducting research at MIT and being exposed to the Institute’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, however, “changed my horizons,” he says. “I wanted to be in a field where I could bring technology to the world through a startup.”

    Civil engineering had some limits in that regard, so Adamo started experimenting in the fast-moving field of microfluidics, working as a researcher in the lab of Jensen, a pioneer of flow chemistry. Inspired by Jensen’s previous research into surface forces, Adamo began designing a small, membrane-based separation device equipped with a precise pressure controller that maintained exact conditions for separation. This first prototype consisted of two bulky plastic pieces bolted together. “It was really ugly,” Adamo says.

    But showcasing the prototype to colleagues at MIT, he found that despite its unaesthetic appearance, the device had commercial potential. “The innovation was not just good for the lab, but also for general public,” he says. “I started looking into business propositions.” (So far, the research has also produced two papers co-authored by Jensen, Adamo, and other MIT researchers in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research Membrane-Based, Liquid–Liquid Separator with Integrated Pressure Control and Design of Multistage Counter-Current Liquid–Liquid Extraction for Small-Scale Applications.)

    In 2013, Adamo co-founded Zaiput with partner and Harvard University biochemist Jennifer Baltz, now Zaiput’s chief operating officer, with help from MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service and other MIT services.

    The startup designed a far more appealing product. Growing up in Italy, Adamo says, he was always surrounded by beautiful, colorful scenery and objects. He used that background as inspiration for the separator’s design, turning the prototype into a series of handheld, colorful blocks. Lab units are orange; larger units are purple, gold, or lime green. There is also color coding for different devices that are made of different materials.

    “Customers visit labs and these devices pop out,” Adamo says. “Function is key, but when you take an object in your hands, it has to feel nice. It has to be pleasing to the eye and, in a commercial sense, distinctive.”

    Currently, Zaiput is developing a production-scale device with a flow rate of 3,000 milliliters per minute, for larger-scale drug manufacturing. The startup is also hoping to more efficiently tackle very complex chemical extractions. Today, this involves repeating chemical extraction processes multiple times in massive columns, about 100 feet high, to ensure as much of the target chemical has been extracted from a liquid. But Zaiput hopes it can do the same with a small system of combined modular units. Additionally, the startup hopes to bring the device to traditional batch-separation users, notably those who still work with settling tanks.

    “The next challenges are bigger-scale development, more complex extraction, and reaching out to traditional users to empower them with new technologies,” Adamo says.

    See the full article here .

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    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

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