Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nanofluids improve fuel efficiency

The so-called nanofluids are suspensions of particles a few nanometers in size, made of highly conducting materials. These fluids have good heat transfer properties.

According to a recent study by W. Yu at Argonne National Laboratory, smaller radiators are needed in vehicles that incorporate nanofluids. Vehicles with a smaller radiator can be made more aerodynamic. Fuel savings of more than 2.5 percent are projected.

Clic here for a presentation with details about these findings.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Handbook of Green Chemistry and Technology

The Handbook of Green Chemistry and Technology is available on Google books.

It has examples of sustainable processes and methods to reduce their environmental impact.

An issue of interest for the agricultural sector is the production of agrichemicals without using fossil fuels. Substances such as glyphosate herbicide can be produced via a purely biochemical route.

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Chemical equipment cost estimation

This PDF document has tables and plots for cost estimation of chemical equipment including:

*Heat exchangers

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Impact of Wall Street crisis on the chemical industry

The recent financial crisis is expected to impact the chemical industry. According to a report in Chemical and Engineering News, the scarcity of credit will not have a direct impact on chemical producers, since according to chemical stock analyst Dmitry Silverstyn, "they have strong free cash flow and relatively low debt and can ride out a short-term credit crunch."

Consumers of chemicals, on the other hand, may be forced to reduce their inventories or default on payments.

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New mirror for Helium scattering microscope

A Spanish research group has developed a material that would facilitate the construction of better microscopes based on Helium atom scattering. While Helium scattering has been known since the 1930's, the new material can be used to build a a mirror that reflects the atoms with a higher efficiency than previously possible.

Reference: Advanced Materials 20, 3492 (2008), Author(s): D. Barredo, F. Calleja, P. Nieto, J.J. Hinarejos, G. Laurent, A.L. Vázquez de Parga, D. Farías and R. Miranda

Photo: STM image shows the absence of step defects in the new material at various temperatures. Images are 500nm x 500nm.

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