Recycling Materials: Turning Old Batteries into New Ones

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is largely involved in a new battery recycling project. LiBinfinity focuses on a holistic concept for recycling materials of lithium-ion batteries. A mechanico-hydrometallurgical process without energy-intensive process steps will be transferred from the lab to an industry-relevant scale. KIT will then check whether the recycled materials are suited for the manufacture of new batteries. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) funds LiBinfinity with nearly EUR 17 million. Of these, about 1.2 million euros go to KIT.

Argonne researchers win four 2022 R&D 100 awards

R&D Magazine has recognized four Argonne projects with R&D 100 Awards.

Completing the micronutrient picture for plant-based milk alternatives

Plant-based milk alternatives are an attractive option for many people. But some minerals are required to be on the Nutrition Facts label only under certain circumstances. Now, researchers have analyzed plant-based beverages and report variability in mineral content. They will present their results at ACS Fall 2022.

New drug candidate fights off more than 300 drug-resistant bacteria

Urinary tract infections are common, yet can be tough to treat as the bacteria that cause them become resistant to many antibiotics. In ACS Central Science, researchers report a new molecule that inhibits drug-resistant bacteria in lab experiments, as well as in mice with pneumonia and UTIs.

Multiple sclerosis drug works in a surprising way

Drugs called interferon betas are common treatments for multiple sclerosis. Interferon beta, a protein known to contain a zinc-binding pocket, is thought to reduce proinflammatory molecules in MS patients. But researchers now report in ACS Chemical Neuroscience that the molecule reduces the binding of three components — zinc, C-peptide and albumin — to red blood cells.

People respond differently to psychedelic drugs — genetics could be the reason

Psychedelic drugs have shown benefits as treatments for cluster headaches, anxiety and depression in clinical studies, but not for everyone. Now, in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, researchers report that one reason could be common genetic variations in one serotonin receptor.

Crop Protection: Biohacking against Fungal Attacks

Harmful fungi cause enormous agricultural losses. Conventional techniques for combating them involve the use of poisonous fungicides. Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), working with partners from Germany, France, and Switzerland on the DialogProTec project, have developed environmentally safe alternatives that trick the pathogens’ chemical communication with plants. Now that the research has been completed, the new technology is ready for use.

Turning white blood cells into medicinal microrobots with light

Researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have used lasers to precisely control neutrophils — a type of white blood cell — as a natural, biocompatible microrobot in living fish. The “neutrobots” performed multiple tasks, showing they could someday deliver drugs to precise locations in the body.

Tabletop Magnetic Resonance Units to Revolutionize Diagnostics and Materials Analysis

In the HyPERiON CRC coordinated by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers from KIT and the universities of Kaiserslautern, Konstanz and Stuttgart are jointly developing technology for compact high-performance magnetic resonance units. In the future, the devices could be used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, in medical practices or at border checkpoints. The German Research Foundation is funding the interdisciplinary group with more than 10.6 million euros for four years starting on July 1, 2022.

These energy-packed batteries work well in extreme cold and heat

Researchers developed lithium-ion batteries that perform well at freezing cold and scorching hot temperatures, while packing a lot of energy. This could help electric cars travel farther on a single charge in the cold and reduce the need for cooling systems for the cars’ batteries in hot climates.

Thin-film Photovoltaic Technology Combines Efficiency and Versatility

Stacking solar cells increases their efficiency. Working with partners in the EU-funded PERCISTAND project, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with an efficiency of nearly 25 percent – the highest value achieved thus far with this technology. Moreover, this combination of materials is light and versatile, making it possible to envision the use of these tandem solar cells in vehicles, portable equipment, and devices that can be folded or rolled up. The researchers present their results in the journal ACS Energy Letters (DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.2c00707)

Press registration opens for the hybrid ACS Fall 2022 meeting

The American Chemical Society’s ACS Fall 2022 will be held virtually and in Chicago Aug. 21–25 with the theme “Sustainability in a Changing World.” ACS considers requests for press credentials and complimentary meeting registration from reporters and public information officers at selected institutions.

Closed-loop additive manufacturing fueled by upcycled plastic

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an upcycling approach that adds value to discarded plastics for reuse in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. The readily adoptable, scalable method introduces a closed-loop strategy that could globally reduce plastic waste and cut carbon emissions tied to plastic production.

Electrolyte Additive Offers Lithium Battery Performance Breakthrough

UPTON, NY—A team of researchers led by chemists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has learned that an electrolyte additive allows stable high-voltage cycling of nickel-rich layered cathodes. Their work could lead to improvements in the energy density of lithium batteries that power electric vehicles.