Sweet success for bio-battery

sugar_battery

An enzyme cascade strips electrons from glucose and turns it into electricity that could be used to power a mobile phone © NPG

Sugar is an excellent source of energy. Most living cells generate their energy from glucose by passing it down an enzymatic chain that converts it into different sugars. This enzymatic cascade provides the necessary energy to create an electrochemical gradient. This, in turn, can be used to power an enzyme that synthesises adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – the universal biological energy currency. However, extracting this energy from a sugar if you’re not a biological organism is tricky – short of combustion, which is impractical to power handheld electronics.

To fuel their battery the team used maltodextrin – a polymer made up of glucose subunits. They then created an entirely new synthetic enzymatic pathway to extract energy from the sugar. Using 13 different enzymes they were able to strip, on average, 24 electrons from a single glucose molecule, which can then be harnessed to power an electrical device.

read at

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2014/01/sweet-success-bio-battery-sugar-power-phones

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Catalysis Science and Technology Selects Hua’s paper as a “Hot Article”

Green Chemistry @ MUN

The RSC journal Catalysis Science and Technology has selected our paper on Cr-catalyzed CO2/epoxide copolymerization as a “Hot Article” for January. The paper describes work performed by Hua Chen during her M.Sc. studies with Dr. Kozak. Thank you Hua for your hard work on this paper and thanks to Louise Dawe, whose ninja-like crystallographic skills were vital to solving the structure of one of the catalysts discussed in the paper. Access to the article can be found here.

GA

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Environmental artwork

I’ve been thinking that I’ll post a painting/drawing with every article I post. But I haven’t been able to do so. Today, ideas came flowing in in a parade. 17 paintings in a day, small ones but it still happens to be a personal record till date. I’ve had tremendous fun while I made those.

One of the 17 paintingsThe paintings are on Renewable energy, Pollution, Climate Change and Environmental Science.

To see my portfolio click here.

For individual topics check out the links below:

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Can bioplastics take over the world?

Plastics have most commonly and in large quantities been derived from petrochemicals. We call them ‘petroplastics’ or ‘fossil fuel plastics’. Bioplastics on the other hand are plastics made from renewable biomass sources, such as cellulose.

Did you know? The first man-made plastic was manufactured from cellulose. It was called Parkesine.

bioplasticsNot all bioplastics are degradable though. Some are designed to be durable. Durability often translates into less biodegradability. But any plastic on this planet right now is biodegradable, it will eventually breakdown into CO2, water and energy. Just not in the way that helps us and our environment.

“The relative ease with which petroleum hydrocarbons will degrade as a result of biological metabolism. Although virtually all petroleum hydrocarbons are biodegradable, biodegradability is highly variable and dependent somewhat on the type of hydrocarbon. In general, biodegradability increases with increasing solubility; solubility is inversely proportional to molecular weight.” – U.S. Environmental Protection…

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Unani medicine

New Drug Approvals

Unani-tibb or Unani Medicine also spelled Yunani Medicine (/juːˈnɑːni/Yūnānī in ArabicHindustanipashto and Persian) is a form oftraditional medicine widely practiced by Muslims. It refers to a tradition of Graeco-Arabic medicine, which is based on the teachings of Greek physician Hippocrates, and Roman physician Galen, and developed into an elaborate medical System by Arab and Persian physicians, such asRhazes (al-Razi), Avicenna (Ibn Sena), Al-Zahrawi, and Ibn Nafis.

Unani medicine is based on the concept of the four humoursPhlegm (Balgham), Blood (Dam), Yellow bile (Ṣafrā’) and Black bile (Saudā’).

The word Unani or Yunani has its origins in the Greek word Ἰωνία (Iōnía) or Ἰωνίη (Iōníe), a place name given to a Greek populated coastal region…

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Top 10 Reasons Se/\… Is Good for You

From making you smarter to reducing cancer risk, boning does more than make you feel good.

January 19, 2014  |
 When news broke this week that sex actually makes us smarter, the collective Internet did a cartoon double-take. Sex is supposed to make us  lose our minds, not  grow them. Lust turns us into beasts, not rocket scientists, right?
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Separation processes in industry

No one is perfect… that’s why pencils have erasers.

separationThe same is true for reactions. They are not perfect in the sense that we do not always get a 100% yield. The reasons for this are:

  • side reactions
  • excess raw material
  • loss of reactants through by-product formation/charring due to their sensitivity towards operating conditions
  • some of the reactants go unreacted

To solve these problems, one may use solvents. But then the product obtained would still be in a diluted state. This is why we need separation.

Various separation processes exist in an industry and depending on the applicability, one process is chosen over the rest. Some of these processes are:

  • Evaporation (e.g. recovering salts from solution)
  • Absorption (e.g. separation of NH3 from a mixture)
  • Crystallization (e.g. purification of solid compounds)
  • Distillation (e.g. separation of crude oil into fractions)
  • Chromatography (e.g. analysis in the lab)
  • Filtration (e.g. desalination)
  • Settling (e.g. waste-water…

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