Summer is at its peak in the northern hemisphere, with its longer days, balmy evenings, sand, sea and sunshine. To celebrate, we have chosen a selection of articles published in Elsevier’s chemistry, engineering, energy, earth and materials science journals that are reminiscent of the season. You can read them at your leisure (perhaps while you relax on the beach) for free until December 31, 2016.
Here are some highlights:
Harvesting the sun’s rays
In the summer, it’s not just people who are soaking up the sun: dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology, which converts light photons into energy, could help tackle global energy and environmental problems. Despite its potential, the efficiency of the technology has been limited because the chemical reaction behind it is often incomplete.
A team from Yunnan Normal University in China has developed a double-layered titanium dioxide/silica nanosphere (TiO2/SiO2) photoanode with light-scattering behaviors, which enhances light harvesting and electron excitation. The results, published in Electrochimica Acta, show the photoelectric efficiency of the solar cell using the anode is increased from 6.21 percent to 8.86 percent.
Reflecting the sun’s rays
Sometimes we don’t want to soak up the sun but reflect it away instead. In hot climates, cool pigments are used to produce non-white colors that stay cool in the sun. But it’s possible to create even cooler colors: in an article in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries in the US showed how photoluminescent synthetic ruby (Al2O3:Cr) can be applied as a layer of crystals on a white surface to stay cooler than other red materials.
The value of sand
From sun to sand – analysis of natural deposit sand found in the Jezza area of North West Tunisia shows it can be used by a variety of industries, including ceramics, concrete, foundry and glass. A study in the International Journal of Mineral Processing by researchers at the University of Carthage in Tunisia reveals a high and almost constant percentage of silica (SiO2), reaching 98 percent, and low percentages of iron oxide and Aluminum oxide at 0.17 percent and 0.32 percent respectively. They also found that the grains varied in size, with a useful fraction of 70 percent, and in shape, from rounded to angular.
Discoveries from the sea
Summer wouldn’t be complete without the sea. Researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan and the National Research Centre in Egypt have isolated five compounds from the marine sponge Stylissa carteri, also known as the elephant ear sponge. These include two new cyclic heptapeptides – carteritins A and B – the structures of which are published in Tetrahedron Letters. The researchers also found that carteritin A is toxic for cervical and colon cancer cells in vitro.
Read all 12 articles:
- New geranylated flavanones from the fruits of Paulownia catalpifolia Gong Tong with their anti-proliferative activity on lung cancer cells A549, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters (September 2015)
- Low-fouling surface plasmon resonance biosensor for multi-step detection of foodborne bacterial pathogens in complex food samples, Biosensors and Bioelectronics (June 2016)
- Light-scattering photoanodes from double-layered mesoporous TiO2 nanoparticles/SiO2 nanospheres for dye-sensitized solar cells, Electrochimica Acta (September 2016)
- Carteritins A and B, cyclic heptapeptides from the marine sponge Stylissa carteri, Tetrahedron Letters (March 2016)
- Mass spectrometric imaging of flavonoid glycosides and biflavonoids in Ginkgo biloba L., Phytochemistry (In Press)
- Sensitive biomolecule detection in lateral flow assay with a portable temperature–humidity control device, Biosensors and Bioelectronics (May 2016)
- Fluorescent cooling of objects exposed to sunlight – The ruby example, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells (December 2016)
- Evidences for higher nocturnal seismic activity at the Mt. Vesuvius, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (July 2016)
- Synthesis of water networks for industrial parks considering inter-plant allocation, Computers & Chemical Engineering (August 2016)
- Chemical and technological characterization and beneficiation of Jezza sand (North West of Tunisia): Potentialities of use in industrial fields, International Journal of Mineral Processing, (March 2016)
- Effect of ultraviolet light irradiation and ion collision on the quality of multilayer graphene prepared by microwave surface-wave plasma chemical vapor deposition, Diamond and Related Materials (June 2016)
- Epoxy resin infused boat hulls, Reinforced Plastics (In Press)