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Testing Different Polymers and Boron Nitride Nanotube Properties in Fabrication of Ion-selective Membranes

Yi et al. | Sep 28, 2020

Testing Different Polymers and Boron Nitride Nanotube Properties in Fabrication of Ion-selective Membranes

One largely untapped source of clean energy is the use of osmotic gradients where freshwater and saltwater are mixed, for example at estuaries. To harness such energy, charge-selective membranes are needed to separate the anions and cations in saltwater, establishing an electric potential like a battery. The objective of this study was twofold: to investigate the creation of the polymer matrix and test the properties of boron nitride nanotubes, as both are essential in the creation of an ion-selective membrane. Out of three polymer samples tested in this study, the mixture known as Soltech 704 showed the best resistance to etching, as well as the highest UV cure rate.

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Kinetic Monitoring and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the Green Oxidation of (-)-Menthol to (-)-Menthone

Surapaneni et al. | Aug 06, 2020

Kinetic Monitoring and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the Green Oxidation of (-)-Menthol to (-)-Menthone

In an effort to reduce the production of hazardous substances, green chemistry aims to make chemical processes more sustainable. One way to do so is changing solvents in chemical reactions. Here, authors assessed different “green” solvents on the oxidation of (-)-menthol to (-)-menthone using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, optimizing the solvent system for this reaction.

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Improving measurement of reducing sugar content in carbonated beverages using Fehling’s reagent

Zhang et al. | Jul 21, 2020

Improving measurement of reducing sugar content in carbonated beverages using Fehling’s reagent

The sugar-rich modern diet underlies a suite of metabolic disorders, most common of which is diabetes. Accurately reporting the sugar content of pre-packaged food and drink items can help consumers track their sugar intake better, facilitating more cognisant and, eventually, moderate consumption of high-sugar items. In this article, the authors examine the effect of several variables on the accuracy of Fehling's reaction, a colorimetric reaction used to estimate sugar content.

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Analysis of reduction potentials to determine the most efficient metals for electrochemical cell alternatives

Carroll et al. | Jul 10, 2020

Analysis of reduction potentials to determine the most efficient metals for electrochemical cell alternatives

In this study, the authors investigate what metals make the most efficient electrochemical cells, which are batteries that use the difference in electrical potential to generate electricity. Calculations predicted that a cell made of iron and magnesium would have the highest efficiency. Construction of an electrochemical cell of iron and magnesium produced voltages close to the theoretical voltage predicted. These findings are important as work continues towards making batteries with the highest storage efficiency possible.

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Capturing Harmful Air Pollutants Using an Electrospun Mesh Embedded with Zinc-based Nanocrystals

Doppalapudi et al. | May 12, 2020

Capturing Harmful Air Pollutants Using an Electrospun Mesh Embedded with Zinc-based Nanocrystals

Zeolithic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is a specific metal-organic framework that has favorable qualities for use in an air filter and is known to be capable of adsorbing particulate matter. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine the effectiveness of ZIF-8 in adsorbing polar, gaseous air pollutants, specifically nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. In order to determine effectiveness, the percent change in concentration for various gases after the application of ZIF-8 crystals was measured via Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The work highlights crystals as a potentially promising alternative or addition to current filter materials to reduce atmospheric pollution.

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Assessing and Improving Machine Learning Model Predictions of Polymer Glass Transition Temperatures

Ramprasad et al. | Mar 18, 2020

Assessing and Improving Machine Learning Model Predictions of Polymer Glass Transition Temperatures

In this study, the authors test whether providing a larger dataset of glass transition temperatures (Tg) to train the machine-learning platform Polymer Genome would improve its accuracy. Polymer Genome is a machine learning based data-driven informatics platform for polymer property prediction and Tg is one property needed to design new polymers in silico. They found that training the model with their larger, curated dataset improved the algorithm's Tg, providing valuable improvements to this useful platform.

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Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

Chenna et al. | Jan 22, 2020

Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

The misfolding of proteins leads to numerous diseases including Akzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type II Diabetes. Understanding of exactly how proteins fold is crucial for many medical advancements. Chenna and Englander addressed this problem by measuring the rate of hydrogen-deuterium exchange within proteins exposed to deuterium oxide in order to further elucidate the process of protein folding. Here, mass spectrometry was used to measure exchange in Cytochrome c and was compared to archived 1H NMR data.

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Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Joshi et al. | Dec 09, 2019

Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Currently there is no early dehydration detection system using temperature and pH as indicators. A sensor could alert the wearer and others of low hydration levels, which would normally be difficult to catch prior to more serious complications resulting from dehydration. In this study, a protein fluorophore, green fluorescent protein (GFP), and a chemical fluorophore, fluorescein, were tested for a change in fluorescence in response to increased temperature or decreased pH. Reversing the pH change did not restore GFP fluorescence, but that of fluorescein was re-established. This finding suggests that fluorescein could be used as a reusable sensor for a dehydration-related pH change.

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Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Kim et al. | Oct 16, 2019

Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Lithium-ion batteries, a breakthrough in chemistry that enabled the electronic revolution we live today have become an essential part of our day-to-day life. A phone battery running out after a heavy day of use with limited opportunities for recharging is a well-known and resented experience by almost everyone. How then can we make batteries more efficient? This paper proposes the use of a different type of separator, that improves the charging and discharging capacities of lithium ions compared to the classical separator. This and similar attempts to improve Lithium-ion battery function could facilitate the development of higher-performance batteries that work longer and withstand harsher use.

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A Temperature-Based Comparison of Compounds Found in Bao Chong Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea

Lin et al. | May 14, 2019

A Temperature-Based Comparison of Compounds Found in Bao Chong Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea

While tea has a complex history, recently the health benefits of this beverage have come into focus. In this study, researchers sought to compare the levels of caffeine, catechins and L-theanine between different types of tea using NMR spectroscopy. Further, the impact of brewing temperature on the release of these compounds was also assessed. Of those tested, Bao Chong tea had the highest levels of these compounds. Brewing temperatures between 45ºC and 75ºC were found to be optimal for compound release. These results can help consumers make informed choices about their tea preparation and intake.

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