Scientists discover new sugar
polymer that purifies water in just
Cornell University researchers have
polymer that can remove contaminants
flowing water within seconds, and do
more efficiently—and cost-effectively—
carbon-based faucet filters, according
American Association for the
The polymer, a porous form of
sugar molecule), was developed by a
researchers led by William Dichtel, an
chemist at Cornell University and the
author of the study, which is published
Running a sample of BPA-contaminated
water through their newly developed
and a few activated carbon-type water
they found that while traditional means
water filtration took about 30 minutes
reach their maximum absorption, the
cyclodextrin polymer reached 95% of its
absorption capacity in just ten seconds
making it the fastest BPA remover ever
This stuff is also really cheap to make,
the researchers estimate that in the
could cost little amounts of money to
develop. I hope that this new water
filtration material will be useful in not
Industrial water filters, but in the states
water board Nigeria where sand is used
in filter bed.
From BBC news today.
The suicide bombers in the Paris attacks and northern (North East) part of Nigeria are using
an explosive that is relatively easy to
synthesise at home.
Chemists, however, are leading an effort to
develop sensors to sniff it out. How i wish Nigeria chemists also join.
The explosive, called triacetone triperoxide
(TATP), is produced by combining chemicals
sold in pharmacies and hardware stores.
Several research groups across the world are
now developing sensors to detect TATP before
it can be detonated. How i wish Nigeria chemists are also included because suicide bomber is the Alternative for Nigeria terrorists (boko haram) now.
“Anyone who could follow a recipe to make a
pumpkin pie could follow the recipe to make
TATP,” says Dr Kenneth Suslick, professor of
chemistry at the University of Illinois.
That is why terrorists find the chemical so
attractive, say experts. Suicide bombers all
over the world have used TATP, from
Palestinians in the West Bank to the “shoe
bomber” Richard Reid. Even in northern part of Nigeria.
Chemists are seeking to exploit a physical
characteristic of TATP known as vapour
pressure. This property refers to how readily a
compound converts from the solid to the
Because TATP has a relatively high vapour
pressure, it easily becomes a gas. Therefore,
in theory, a suicide bomber wearing a vest
containing TATP should emit enough gaseous
particles to set off the alarm on a sensor.
Dr Suslick’s group has developed a handheld
scanner that detects TATP and other
explosives after they react with a colorimetric
sensor array. His work is funded by the US
Department of Defense.
When gaseous TATP molecules enter the
sensor, they encounter a solid acid catalyst.
The acid converts TATP back into its
constituent parts, acetone and hydrogen
Hydrogen peroxide, an unstable oxidising
agent, then reacts with dye molecules in the
sensor, causing them to change colour.
By detecting these colour changes, the highly
sensitive portable scanner can detect fewer
than two parts per billion TATP.
Furthermore, in a recent paper published in
the journal Chemical Science, Dr Suslick’s
team describes a more advanced sensor their
team has created, which uses a panoply of
various color-changing chemical indicators.
This new sensor detects about a dozen
Dr Otto Gregory, professor of chemical
engineering at the University of Rhode Island,
believes that Dr Suslick has developed a good
technology. That has not prevented his lab,
however, from working on its own.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
Funded by the US Department of Homeland
Security, Dr Gregory’s team has published a
paper in the journal ECS Transactions that
describes an entirely different strategy for
Their sensor employs a tin oxide catalyst.
When TATP interacts with the catalyst, it
produces heat that is detected by the sensor.
I hope the present national security adviser will leave no stone unturned in ending suicide bombers in Nigeria when given the fund unlike…
Plutonium-238 being produced at Oak Ridge
National Laboratory. courtesy of
Department of Energy
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., (UPI) — For the
first time 30 years, federal scientists have
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s
Oak Ridge National Laboratory were able to
make 50 grams of the radioactive isotope.
Unlike other isotopes, plutonium-238 is rather
stable and doesn’t emit significant amounts of
dangerous radiation, making it suitable for a
variety of scientific applications, including
thermal power generation.
As plutonium-238 decays, it gives off heat,
which can be harnessed to power spacecraft
instruments. If the latest production turns out
to be pure and safe, NASA will likely utilize the
50 grams on future space missions.
Researchers hadn’t used Oak Ridge facilities
to make plutonium since the 1980s. They’re
now working to scale up their production
“Once we automate and scale up the process,
the nation will have a long-range capability to
produce radioisotope power systems such as
those used by NASA for deep space
exploration,” Bob Wham, who is heading up
the lab’s renewed plutonium production
project, said in a press release.
NASA is in possession of 77 pounds of
plutonium-238, only about half of which is
suitable for the space agency’s needs —
enough to power missions over the next
decade. But NASA has big plans for the future,
including manned and unmanned missions to
Mars and beyond.
Eventually, engineers will need more of the
isotope. And the Department of Energy is
heeding the call.
“With this initial production of plutonium-238
oxide, we have demonstrated that our process
works, and we are ready to move on to the
next phase of the mission,” Wham said.