Swagelok Northern California Blog

Meet "Methuselah," an Organic Mega Flow Battery

Harvard researchers have designed and built an organic battery that is the longest-lived such battery—it’s been dubbed “Methusela” after the biblical character. Organic flow batteries are the cheaper and potentially safer alternatives for large-scale renewable energy storage.

Topics: Mission Critical

Falling Asleep at the Analyzer?

An online analyzer means the difference between knowing a process chemistry result within minutes versus hours or even days later

Topics: Sampling Systems Catalog Downloads Grab Sample Systems

Semiconductor Breakthrough: Electrical Contact to Molecules

New research in Germany has established a technique that establishes electrical contact to individual molecules. The method will allow the integration of molecular compounds into solid-state devices and will be used in ultra-sensitive sensors

Topics: Mission Critical

Working Towards a Better Open-Cell Foam for Cleaner Air

A team of chemical engineers in Italy is investigating the fluid-solid mass transfer properties of open-cell foams. These foams are promising in the use of catalytic processes to help increase external heat and mass transfer.

Topics: Mission Critical

Artificial Photosynthesis for Clean Energy

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have pioneered a technique that allows researchers to develop much more efficient photosynthesis catalysts—those that use sunlight to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter of which can be used for fuel.

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The World's Most Efficient Semiconductor for Thermal Management

Potential for improvement in chip performance and energy efficiency

A team led of UCLA engineers has developed a new semiconductor that is the most efficient material known for drawing and dissipating waste heat. Since thermal management is the primary obstacle to the optimization of electronic performance, this material has the potential to revolutionize the design of computer processors, other electronics, and even LEDs.

Topics: Mission Critical

Getting Better at Fuel-Air Mixing

Spatially oscillating jets have been shown to be superior to standard injector nozzles

Stationary gas turbines are used for electric power generation in all sorts of machinery, as well as cogeneration, natural gas transmission, and various industrial processes. The efficiency with which a turbine operates depends on the effective mixing of the liquid fuel with air. Properly atomizing and dispersing the fuel into the air has a direct effect on both fuel consumption and the emission of pollutants like nitrogen oxide.

Topics: Mission Critical

The Physics of Water Impact

Studies could lead to improvements of manned space capsules

Although the phenomenon of objects entering water is as familiar as jumping into a pool on a hot day, the physics involved is surprisingly little understood. Researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering have begun to explore this little-known area of inquiry. They have released preliminary results on what happens when a solid object enters a body of water that contains other solid, stationary objects like rocks or ice.

Topics: Mission Critical

Not All Materials Pass Muster For Ultrahigh-Purity

We can help you choose the right components for your UHP applications

Topics: Downloads Semiconductor

Chemistry Selfies to Improve Reproducibility

Labs are documenting step by step procedures using video

Scientific reproducibility is one of the tenets of the scientific method, but in recent years there has been a growing crisis of faith in the reproducibility of much scientific research. In response, many labs are beefing up the documentation of their step-by-step procedures for each experiment. This can include video recording using their own cell phone cameras or GoPros.

Topics: Mission Critical

Using Atomic Layer Deposition to Improve Two-Faced Membranes

Resulting membrane is much more stable than previously possible

Janus membranes, named for the two-faced Roman god, are used as boundaries between oil and water, for example, or to convey gas bubbles into liquids. Their moniker comes from chemical treatment on only one side, leaving two different faces. But current methods of application have made the coatings’ stability and depth of penetration difficult to control.

Topics: Mission Critical

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.

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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.

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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

A Liquid Sample For A Gas Analyzer? Vaporize It

With a little trial and error and some troubleshooting, you can often make it work

Topics: Sampling Systems Downloads Tips Best Practices

Self-Assembling Molecules Catalyze Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The molecules, cofacial cobalt porphyrins in hydrogen fuel cells, could be the next big advance in alternative energy

Topics: Mission Critical

Get Ready for a New Super-Desiccant

UNSW scientists have developed a new carbon-based material that could revolutionize moisture control in diverse applications

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Bendable Concrete Inspired by Abalone Shells

Bendable concrete makes infrastructure safer, extends its service life and reduces maintenance costs and resource use

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Microscopy Reveals Role for Water in Energy Storage Material

A material with atomically thin layers of water holds promise for energy storage technologies

Topics: Mission Critical

More Efficient Gas Storage

Confined gas research could expand natural gas market

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have been working with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to come up with new ways to store, separate, and sense gases. The researchers discovered that combined MOFs cool gases more effectively than single MOFs. 

Topics: Mission Critical

MIT Boosts Efficiency of Thermoelectric Materials

New materials, heated under high magnetic fields, could produce record levels of energy, model shows

Topics: Mission Critical

Swagelok And Your Smartphone

Entrapment, dead volume, low flow areas, and trace impurities are the enemy

Topics: Semiconductor Fittings