Swagelok Northern California Blog

Quantum Computing Leap

A step closer to solving complex problems

A quantum computer has made the first chemistry calculations, a step closer to solving complex problems of chemistry, physics, and materials science that even the most powerful supercomputers cannot master. University of Sydney physicists used a quantum computer composed of trapped ion qubits to perform algorithms that could be checked using classical computers.

Topics: Mission Critical

Self-Healing Polymer is Switched On with Light

New material can be cut apart and then heal itself when warmed

A team at MIT is developing a polymer of the future that could be applied to cars, satellites, and other machinery to allow them to “heal” themselves after damage. The researchers attached the polymer (polyethylene glycol in this case, although any polymer would work) to a light-sensitive molecule called DTE that can be used to alter the bonds formed within the material.

Topics: Mission Critical

Better Biofuel Production

New enzyme boost could hasten biofuel production

Researchers at Imperial College London have modified the glucosidase enzyme to break down plant-based biomass 30 times faster than is currently possible. Glucosidase makes quick work of breaking down plant-based cellulose into glucose, which can then be fermented to make ethanol—a biofuel. This is because glucosidase can be altered to increase its solubility in ionic liquids and improve its function in high temperatures. These changes accelerate the normally slow and expensive process of releasing glucose from cellulose.

Topics: Mission Critical

Why Aren't Fluid Sampling Systems Getting Any Better?

Analyzers keep improving, but sampling systems have three strikes against them

Topics: Sampling Systems Downloads Tips Best Practices

Detecting Damage in HRSG T-91 Tubing

New Damage Mechanism, Dubbed “Exfoliation”

Intertek specialists have finally identified the damage mechanism long suspected in Grade-91 tubing (T-91). They presented their findings at the February 2018 HRSG (heat recovery steam generator) User’s Group Conference.

Topics: Mission Critical

Flexible, Dynamic Radiators

Smart, flexible skins measure and adapt to ambient temperatures

University of Manchester materials scientists have developed a flexible graphene-based device that could be used in a dynamic radiator to protect equipment exposed to extreme changes in temperature, among other applications. The team created a material from graphene that can adjust how much heat it emits in response to background temperature.

Topics: Mission Critical

Improving a ZIF's Carbon-Capture Capabilities

Postsynthesis modification of common MOF improves its CO2 uptake and selectivity

Koç University researchers have drastically improved the adsorption of CO2 in a common zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) that will make it much more useful for carbon capture and natural gas purification. (ZIFs are a subset of MOFs, metal-organic frameworks.) 

Topics: Mission Critical

EU Scientists Closer to Recycling CO2

Researchers have found a way to turn CO2 into an alcohol

Since 2008 the European Parliament and the European Commission have had the goal of capturing 20% of Europe’s CO2 emissions and sequestering them underground. Since then, scientists at several institutions have been working on ways to use CO2 as a raw material.

Topics: Mission Critical

The History and Future of Lasers

Take a quick tour through the main events that led to the development of the laser and look at some future applications for lasers

Building on the discoveries of Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Dennis Gabor, and stemming partly from Gabor’s invention of the hologram, the discoveries and inventions that led to the first working LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) in 1960 is a long, fascinating journey.

Topics: Mission Critical

Green Solar Cell Material Takes an Efficiency Leap

Perfect Recipe: Flexible, Non-toxic, Abundant, and Inexpensive

Solar energy researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia are another step closer to bringing sulfide kesterite into use for thin-film solar cells. Sulfide kesterite is a photovoltaic (PV) material made up of four elements that are abundant and easily obtainable from the earth’s crust—and therefore inexpensive: copper, zinc, tin and sulfur.

Topics: Mission Critical