COMPILED BY CHRIS ZEIGLER
Source: ACS Office of Public Affairs Weekly Press Pac, www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom.html
The cost of 1 gram of
californium, the most
in the world – and the
cost of the world’s
melting point in
grade of gallium.
means a gallium
n will melt in a
of hot tea.
Jletter not appearing in the periodic table of elements.
also not used
odern Celtic or
number of grams
lt in the average
an body. That’s
valent to half a
nd or the mass of
in the earth’s
t, similar to the
s of a high school
ng on to play in the
AA (2011 data).
n environmentally friendly
attery made from wood
ing inspiration from trees, scientists have devel-
d a battery made from a sliver of wood coated
h tin that shows promise for becoming a tiny,
g-lasting, efficient, and environmentally friendly
rgy source. Their report on the device — 1,000
es thinner than a sheet of paper— appears in the
journal Nano Letters.
angbing Hu, Teng Li, and colleagues point out that today’s batter-
ten use stiff, non-flexible substrates, which are too rigid to release
tress that occurs as ions flow through the battery. They knew that
d fibers from trees are supple and naturally designed to hold min-
ich water, similar to the electrolyte in batteries. They decided to
ore use of wood as the base of an experimental sodium-ion battery.
g sodium rather than lithium would make the device environmen-
ead author Hongli Zhu and other team members describe lab exper-
ts in which the device performed successfully through 400 charge-
arge cycles, putting it among the longest-lasting of all sodium-ion
batteries. Batteries using the new technology would be best suited
rge-scale energy storage applications, such as wind farms or solar
gy installations, the report indicates.
ead more about the research: “Tin Anode for Sodium-Ion Batteries
g Natural Wood Fiber as a Mechanical Buffer and Electrolyte Reser-
Nano Lett., May 29, 2013 (Web).
pump in antibiotics to clean
Using the same devious mechanism that enables
some bacteria to shrug off powerful antibiotics,
researchers have developed solar-powered nanofilters that remove antibiotics from the water in lakes
and rivers twice as efficiently as the best existing
technology. Their report appears in the ACS journal
David Wendell and Vikram Kapoor explain that antibiotics from
wastewater find their way into lakes and rivers, with traces appearing in 80% of waterways. Those antibiotics foster emergence of new
antibiotic-resistant bacteria, while harming beneficial microbes in
ways that can degrade aquatic environments and food chains. Filters
containing activated carbon can remove antibiotics from effluent at
municipal sewage treatment plants, before its release into waterways. But activated carbon is far from perfect. So the scientists looked
for a better technology.
They describe development and successful laboratory testing of
capsule-like “vesicles” containing the very mechanism that enables
bacteria to survive doses of antibiotics. This system pumps antibiotics out of bacterial cells before any damage can occur. Wendell
and Kapoor turned it around, however, so that the system pumps
antibiotics into the vesicles by creating a protein material capable of
capturing antibiotics from bulk solution. That way, antibiotics can
be collected and recycled or shipped for disposal. In addition to the
pump, the vesicles contain a propulsion system driven by sunlight.
The pump system could be adapted to clean hormones, heavy metals,
and other undesirable materials from water, the scientists state.
Read more about the research: “Engineering Bacterial Efflux
Pumps for Solar-Powered Bioremediation of Surface Waters,” Nano
Lett., 2013, 13 ( 5), pp 2189–2193, April 13, 2013 (Web).