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New spin brings rapid rescue from oil spills

Jul 23, 2020

An intrinsically porous polymer with a very high internal surface area could be an ideal material for soaking up spilled oil. Researchers from KAUST have identified a polymer that can be formed into robust, reusable mats to rapidly adsorb spilled oil, fuel or organic solvents from the surface of fresh or salt water.

Early warning sensor sniffs out cities' harmful gas

May 11, 2020

The design for an electronic sensor that sounds the alarm if toxic industrial and vehicle-exhaust gases exceed safe levels could lead to cleaner air in many cities. KAUST researchers have developed a small, low-cost device that senses nitrogen dioxide (NO2); it could be deployed in potential hotspots around cities, alerting authorities if levels of the harmful gas start to spike.

#Discovery

Sensing a heart attack before it strikes

Apr 13, 2020

A wearable electronic device that alerts at-risk patients and their doctors that an acute heart attack is imminent could be developed using sensor technology created at KAUST.

#Discovery

A chemical embrace from the perfect host

Mar 30, 2020

An industrial process that currently consumes vast amounts of energy in petrochemical plants around the globe could be replaced by an alternative process so efficient that it requires no heating or elevated pressure.

#Discovery

The power of light for internet of underwater things

Mar 19, 2020

Light can simultaneously transfer energy and data to underwater devices, but there’s a long way to go before these systems can be deployed.

#Discovery

Stabilizing ligands make nanoclusters brighter

Nov 19, 2019

Metal nanoclusters that bear tunable surface ligands could help develop next-generation imaging and photocatalytic approaches, suggests work by KAUST researchers.

Waste plastic converted into filtration membranes

Oct 22, 2019

In a world that seems to be drowning in plastic bottles, recycling this waste into useful materials would help to reduce its environmental impact. KAUST researchers have now invented a way to turn plastic bottles into porous membranes that could be used as molecular filters in the chemical industry.

Imperfection is OK for better MOFs

Jun 26, 2019

Perfect crystals are not necessarily the most useful. Defects in the ordered crystalline structure of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) could tailor these versatile materials for specific applications. KAUST researchers have already developed a pioneering method to image the defects using transmission electron microscopy. They now report that creating specific defects, visualizing them, and investigating their chemical effects takes the exploration of MOFs to new levels of detail and control.

#Discovery

Colorful solution to a chemical industry bottleneck

May 08, 2019

KAUST researchers have tailored the structure of graphene-oxide layers to mimic the hourglass shape of these biological channels, creating ultrathin membranes to rapidly separate chemical mixtures.

MOFs can sense and sort troublesome gases

Apr 08, 2019

From astronauts and submariners to miners and rescue workers, people who operate in small enclosed spaces need good air quality to work safely and effectively. Electronic sensors now developed by a KAUST team can simultaneously detect at least three critical parameters that are important to monitor to ensure human comfort and safety.

Cleaning up with cellulose

Mar 10, 2019

Environmentally friendly method for making membranes adds greener options for processing industrial waste. Selectively permeable membranes made from renewable plant-based materials could significantly improve the environmental credentials of the chemical industry. A KAUST team has tested the viability of cellulose membranes to show they can effectively clean wastewater.

Driving water down nanohighways

Mar 03, 2019

Self-assembled channels in a polymer membrane could greatly enhance extraction of water from gases. Removing water vapor from air and other gas mixtures, which is crucial for many industrial processes and air conditioning, could become cheaper and more effective through polymer membrane technology now developed at KAUST.

Crystal clear solvent filtration

Jan 30, 2019

Covalent organic crystal networks generate high-selectivity and high-flux membranes for organic solvent filtration. Covalent organic materials with well-ordered porous microstructures could provide the membranes needed for technology to meet increasingly stringent environmental controls and be cost effective to produce.

A broader bandwidth for electrical devices

Jan 23, 2019

Combining a polymer and microparticles enables a new type of capacitor that could mimic the way the brain processes information. A simple fractional-order capacitor has been developed by a team from KAUST. Made from a single component, this device expands the range of frequencies that can be achieved by these devices, making them better at energy storage.

Crystals that clean natural gas

Nov 05, 2018

Removing the troublesome impurities of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from natural gas could become simpler and more effective using a metal-organic framework (MOF) developed at KAUST.