Electrici-wee? Getting energy from wastewater

Could we ever use urine to power batteries? An international team of chemists have come a step closer with a new catalyst for urea reactions. “Urea is globally abundant in wastewater and can be used to power fuel cells as an alternative to conventional technology, which uses clean water in an electrolyser,” explains Yao Zheng, … Continue reading Electrici-wee? Getting energy from wastewater

Changing the shape of water molecules

Chemistry depends on catalysts to speed up reactions, make chemical processes more efficient, and control the products they’re making. But it’s not always clear why a catalyst works the way it does. A group of US researchers has uncovered part of the catalysis mystery by looking at nanometre-sized crystals called zeolites. They’ve shown that the … Continue reading Changing the shape of water molecules

Making hydrogen with mining waste

A group of Queensland researchers have used mining waste to make a catalyst that could render hydrogen fuel production cheaper and more efficient. Hydrogen gas, which can be made by electrolysing water, should be a critical clean fuel by mid-century. The electrolysis process needs metals to catalyse it – and generally, expensive precious metals do … Continue reading Making hydrogen with mining waste

Next Big Thing: Catalysts can change the world

Stepping towards a sustainable world is possible, if you’re clever with chemistry. There are now more cars in Sydney’s CBD than there were in the 1970s, yet our air quality is radically better. Why? Because today we have catalytic converters installed in our vehicles to reduce emissions. In fact, about 90% of the world’s fuels, … Continue reading Next Big Thing: Catalysts can change the world

Next Big Thing: Catalysts can change the world

We now have more cars in Sydney’s CBD then we had in the 1970s, yet our air quality is radically better. Why? Because today we have catalytic converters installed in our vehicles to reduce emissions. In fact, about 90% of the world’s chemicals and organic materials are touched by catalysts during their production. Catalysts can … Continue reading Next Big Thing: Catalysts can change the world

A new carbon capture catalyst

Chemists have suggested a new method for turning carbon dioxide into methanol using a special catalyst – a technique that could be useful in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, transforming it for further use. Key research points Carbon capture and storage could be achieved using carbon dioxide and hydrogen to make methanol, which can be used … Continue reading A new carbon capture catalyst

A catalyst for faster, cheaper biodiesel

Australian and British researchers have developed a new, low-cost way to make biodiesel from used cooking oil and agricultural waste. And with a little further development, they say, it could be tailored to produce jet fuel from agricultural and forestry waste, old rubber tyres and even algae. The key is an ultra-efficient catalyst that can … Continue reading A catalyst for faster, cheaper biodiesel