New catalyst converts common plastic waste into fuels and wax

As useful as plastics are in our everyday life, they’re difficult to recycle, with most ending up in landfill or the environment. Now, researchers in Japan have used a novel catalyst to recycle a common plastic into useful products like fuel and wax.

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Safety coating causes heat-damaged ropes to change color

When a rope is heated – either by friction or by fire – it may lose its structural integrity, subsequently breaking when put under load. A new surface coating, however, could cause ropes to change color if they've been overheated, providing a warning to users.

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Durable new bioplastic can hold boiling liquids

Making plastic materials out of biomass offers a number of environmental benefits, but these bioplastics tend to underperform in a few key areas. Scientists may have found a solution to one such shortcoming; the inability to contain boiling liquids.

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NawaStitch promises to make carbon composites even lighter and stronger

France's Nawa Technologies is setting up operations in the United States, and bringing its fast, affordable vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) manufacturing process into a new application: making carbon fiber composites much stronger.

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Scientists produce rare diamonds in minutes at room temperature

An international team of researchers has succeeded in producing two types of diamonds in a matter of minutes, demonstrating a new technique where they not only form quickly, but do so at room temperature.

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Next-gen solar material excels at harvesting energy from indoor light

Perovskite solar is gaining much attention in solar cell research, but there are greener alternatives in the works. Scientists have just uncovered a new use for these materials, learning they can harvest energy from indoor lighting with high efficiency.

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Liquid nanofoam lining bolsters football helmets against repeat impacts

Engineers at Michigan State University have crafted a new type of liquid foam lining they say can help football helmets better sustain repeated impacts, improving their longevity and the safety of those wearing them.

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Microscopic sponge turns dirty cooking oil into biodiesel on the cheap

Scientists at Australia’s RMIT have developed a tiny sponge with big potential, and say the micron-sized material can be used to convert discarded cooking oil into biodiesel in a very cost-effective manner. And this catalyst is no one-trick pony.

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Study makes case for mushroom leather as greener, ethical alternative

A new review article, from a team of material scientists, is suggesting a leather-like material made from mushroom-derived biomass has the potential to be cheaper, and more environmentally sustainable, than animal leather or its plastic derivations.

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