KIT and Audi are working on recycling method for automotive plastics


IMAGE: Pyrolysis oil from mixed wastes is to close the loop for plastics from automotive engineering.
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Credit: (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)

A large number of components in automobiles are made from plastics. They have to meet high safety, heat resistance, and quality requirements. That is why so far only petroleum-based materials have been suitable for manufacturing plastic components in cars that are subjected to extremely high wear. In most cases, such materials cannot be recycled. Whereas plastics of the same type can often be recycled mechanically, recycling of mixed plastic waste poses a major challenge. The THINK TANK Industrial Resource Strategies of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Audi are therefore launching a pilot project for chemical recycling in order to feed such mixed plastic fractions back into a resource-conserving circular system.

“Recycling automotive plastics has not yet been possible for many components. That is why we are

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Method measures naturally occurring electron transfers — ScienceDaily

Bacterial infections have become one of the biggest health problems worldwide, and a recent study shows that COVID-19 patients have a much greater chance of acquiring secondary bacterial infections, which significantly increases the mortality rate.

Combatting the infections is no easy task, though. When antibiotics are carelessly and excessively prescribed, that leads to the rapid emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant genes in bacteria — creating an even larger problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections happen in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die from of them.

One factor slowing down the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria is the amount of time needed to test for it. The conventional method uses extracted bacteria from a patient and compares lab cultures grown with and without antibiotics, but results can take one to two days, increasing the mortality rate, the length of hospital

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Patterning method could pave the way for new fiber-based devices, smart textiles — ScienceDaily

Multimaterial fibers that integrate metal, glass and semiconductors could be useful for applications such as biomedicine, smart textiles and robotics. But because the fibers are composed of the same materials along their lengths, it is difficult to position functional elements, such as electrodes or sensors, at specific locations. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have developed a method to pattern hundreds-of-meters-long multimaterial fibers with embedded functional elements.

Youngbin Lee, Polina Anikeeva and colleagues developed a thiol-epoxy/thiol-ene polymer that could be combined with other materials, heated and drawn from a macroscale model into fibers that were coated with the polymer. When exposed to ultraviolet light, the polymer, which is photosensitive, crosslinked into a network that was insoluble to common solvents, such as acetone. By placing “masks” at specific locations along the fiber in a process known as photolithography, the researchers could protect the underlying areas from UV light. Then, they

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Could The Wim Hof Method Help You Thrive In Business?

A Dutch extreme athlete, famous for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures, and breaking world records along the way; Wim Hof is a man on a mission. Millions swear by his simple, accessible exercises, known as the Wim Hof Method. He believes this method, the basis of which dates back centuries, is the key to unlocking the unlimited power of the mind and he’s collecting the science to make that a fact.

The Wim Hof Method, outlined in the book of the same title, involves a combination of breathing techniques and cold exposure with benefits including cognitive function, stress reduction and overall wellbeing. The method has application for endurance and strength athletes, but also for entrepreneurs and business leaders.

After probing Hof during an exclusive interview, he assured me that his method was replicable: “What I can

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Scientists have uncovered a method of combining natural organic compounds which can create anticancer drugs with minimal side effects — ScienceDaily

In the past decades, cancer has surpassed many other diseases to become the current second leading cause of death globally, with one in six people dying from it. This concerning position has given it a unique and ubiquitous position in global culture, so much so that finding a cure for cancer is considered one of the most noble things any person can do. Sadly, humanity hasn’t arrived at this cure yet; tons of research is being conducted to explore every angle of cancer, trying to find a weakness.

A group of scientists from the Tokyo University of Science, led by Prof Kouji Kuramochi, has also been dedicated to this mission. In their search for a weapon against cancer, they turned to a specific set of organic compounds called “phenazines.” Phenazines are a large group of nitrogen-containing “heterocycles” (or compounds with a ring structure composed of at least two different elements).

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New simple method accelerates elimination of alcohol from the body — ScienceDaily

A staggering 3 million deaths occur every year as result from harmful use of alcohol, according to the World Health Organization.

Present in alcoholic drinks, ethanol, normally referred to as ‘alcohol’, affects every part of the human body. Brain function, circulation and even nail growth are impacted. When a certain level of blood alcohol concentration is reached, the intoxication can damage organs and lead to death.

In a study published today in Scientific Reports, a Nature Research Journal, a team of researchers led by Dr. Joseph Fisher presents a proof of concept of a simple method that could become a game-changer in rescue therapy for severe alcohol intoxication, as well as just “sobering up.”

Normally, 90% of the alcohol in the human body is cleared exclusively by the liver at constant rate that can’t be increased. Currently there is no other method, short of dialysis, whereby alcohol can be

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Researchers develop scalable method to help address PPE supply chain issues, help hospitals with limited resources — ScienceDaily

As the weather turns cooler and people move activities indoors, the number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases being reported in the United States is rising. This mirrors COVID-19 activity already seen in Europe and elsewhere across the globe.

Meanwhile, supply-chain problems are likely to cause limited supplies of filtering facepiece respirators, such as N95 masks. Yet strategies to decontaminate personal protective equipment, or PPE, remain unresolved in many hospitals with limited resources, both in the United States and abroad.

University of Delaware researchers, led by biomedical engineer Jason Gleghorn, have devised a system for decontaminating N95 masks using off-the-shelf materials available at any hardware store combined with ultraviolet type C (UV-C) lights found in shuttered research laboratories.

The UD-developed method offers comparable decontamination to more expensive methods at an affordable cost of about $50 in materials.

“We focused on frugal science — how do you decontaminate PPE in a very

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Russian scientists created a chemical space mapping method and cracked the mystery of Mendeleev number


IMAGE: Compound hardness map.
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Credit: Artem R. Oganov

Scientists had long tried to come up with a system for predicting the properties of materials based on their chemical composition until they set sights on the concept of a chemical space that places materials in a reference frame such that neighboring chemical elements and compounds plotted along its axes have similar properties. This idea was first proposed in 1984 by the British physicist, David G. Pettifor, who assigned a Mendeleev number (MN) to each element. Yet the meaning and origin of MNs were unclear. Scientists from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) puzzled out the physical meaning of the mysterious MNs and suggested calculating them based on the fundamental properties of atoms. They showed that both MNs and the chemical space built around them were more effective than empirical solutions proposed until then. Their research supported by

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Bronze Age travel routes revealed using pioneering research method — ScienceDaily

Archaeologists from the University of Sydney have reconstructed the ancient seasonal migration routes of Bronze Age herders in Xinjiang, north-western China.

Published in the high-ranking journal PLOS ONE, their research was the result of innovative methodology. To determine snow cover and vegetation cycles, crucial to the survival of Bronze Age people and their flocks, they examined both satellite imagery and archaeological evidence, as well as interviewing modern-day herders.

In conjunction with researchers from the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, they then used these data to create a model of how the landscape was used more than 3,500 years ago.

“This detailed model of how Bronze Age people capitalised on the resources in their environment helps greatly in understanding the Prehistoric Silk Road,” said lead author Dr Peter Jia.

“For example, our ethnographic studies — interviews with local herders — have explained why certain locations were

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Scientists develop method to detect charge traps in organic semiconductors

Scientists develop method to detect charge traps in organic semiconductors
Lead author, Nasim Zarrabi measuring the photo-response of organic solar cells at Optoelectronics Laboratory of Swansea University. Credit: Swansea University

Scientists at Swansea University have developed a very sensitive method to detect the tiny signatures of so called ‘charge traps’ in organic semiconductors.

The research, published in Nature Communications and supported by the Welsh Government through the European Regional Development Fund, may change views about what limits the performance of organic solar cells, photodetectors and OLEDs.

Organic semiconductors are materials mainly made of carbon and hydrogen which can be flexible, low weight and colorful.

They are the key components in OLED displays, solar cells and photodetectors that can distinguish different colors and even mimic the rods and cones of the human eye.

The efficiency of organic solar cells to convert sunlight to electricity has recently reached 18 % and the race is on to really understand the fundamentals of how

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