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14 Sep

Environmental scientists develop a method to turn hazardous acidic industrial wastewater into valuable resources

A research team of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev environmental scientists has developed a circular process for eliminating the risk posed by phosphoric acid plant wastewater. The process turns the environmentally toxic wastewater into clean water while recovering valuable acids. Phosphoric acid is the main ingredient in industrial fertilizers, a massive industry worldwide. Their method was just published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, a journal published by the American Chemical Society. Lior Monat, a PhD student in Dr. Oded Nir's lab led the research under his supervision. "Phosphoric acid production generates a lot of industrial wastewater that cannot be treated efficiently because of its low pH and high precipitation potential," explains Dr. Oded Nir, the co-lead researcher, "Today, the wastewater is usually...
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13 Sep

Scientists show how to store liquid fuels in polymeric gels to prevent explosions and fires

Liquid fuels with high energy density are essential in many applications where chemical energy is converted into controlled motion, such as in rockets, gas turbines, boilers, and certain vehicle engines. Besides their combustion characteristics and performance, it is also important to guarantee the safety and stability of these fuels when in use as well as during transport and storage. One common hazard when dealing with liquid fuels is that they can evaporate quickly if given space, producing clouds of highly flammable gases. As one might expect, this can lead to catastrophic explosions or fire accidents. To tackle this problem, researchers have considered the use of gelled fuels, or fuels turned into thick gel-like substances from cold temperatures. Unfortunately, there are many...
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13 Sep

Scientists develop greener, more efficient method for producing next-generation antibiotics

An international team of researchers has developed a method for altering one class of antibiotics, using microscopic organisms that produce these compounds naturally. The findings, published July 25 in Nature Chemistry, could lead to more efficient production of antibiotics that are effective against drug-resistant bacteria. The team started with a microorganism that is genetically programmed to produce the antibiotic erythromycin. Scientists from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Germany's Goethe University wondered if the system could be genetically altered to assemble the antibiotic with one additional fluorine atom, which can often improve pharmaceutical properties. "We had been analyzing fatty acid synthesis for several years when we identified a part of a mouse protein that we believed could be used for directed biosynthesis...
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