Chemistry

We're better off if chemicals we use in everyday life are created from renewable resources using biotechnology - currently many of those chemicals are instead derived from fossil resources.


Are you on Team Quantum Dots or Team Nanowires when the topic of future nanoscale energy-harvesting technology in solar panels comes up?


The quest for evidence of life on Mars could be more complicated than previously thought due to  perchlorate,, a salt comprised of chlorine and oxygen, that interferes with the techniques used by the Curiosity rover to test for traces of life. The chemical causes the evidence to burn away during the tests.


What's the difference between Rye and Bourbon? Is it the grains? (Rye vs corn). According to chemist Thomas Collins at the University of California at Davis the answer is no.  The answer is in the wood of the barrels used to age the whiskey. Go here:
 http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/09/220655227/rye-bother-an-inside-the-barrel-look-at-american-whiskeys
To complicate matters further Rye and Bourbons made at the same distillery had flavor profiles which resemble each other more than to other Ryes and Bourbons.

Cilantro, a favorite ingredient in spicy cuisine, may also be an inexpensive new way of purifying drinking water, according to research done by undergraduate students at Ivy Tech Community College.

Douglas Schauer, Ph.D., reporting on the work at the American Chemical Society meeting, said that cilantro, also known as coriander and Thai parsley, shows promise as a "biosorbent" for removing lead and other potentially toxic heavy metals from contaminated water. 


Nootkatone, the substance behind the citrus flavor and aroma of grapefruit that is already used in beverages and prestige perfumes, may be heading for a new use in battling mosquitoes, ticks and other pests thanks to a less expensive way of making large amounts of the once rare and pricey ingredient.

Nootkatone previously had to be harvested from tons of grapefruit and is an excellent example of the potential for developing new pesticides based on natural sources. Nootkatone is a component of the oil in grapefruit, and has been on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's list of substances generally recognized as safe for use in food.


Attila E. Pavlath, Ph.D., who turned fresh-cut apple slices into a popular convenience food, outlined advances in keeping other foods fresh, flavorful and safe for longer periods of time through the use of invisible, colorless, odorless, tasteless coatings.


Kopi Luwak, coffee made from berries extracted the feces of Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), is all the rage. At our neighborhood Labor Day party we had not only that in attendance, but moonshine too (1), so you know it is trendy. We're thought leaders when it comes to drinks.
A new hard metal recently developed can be used to replace tungsten carbide (WC), the hard metal widely used in industry today and whose global availability is becoming critical.

The new material, developed over the past three years by Finnish-based Exote Ltd and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, also possesses excellent bullet-proofing qualities.  Ballistic tests have show it has an un-equalled ability to stop armor-piercing bullets.

Human identity revolves around names and making a name for oneself is a lifetime goal for many. Chemicals are no different - many have become an integral part of human culture and some are upcoming stars.