News

Catalysts: A Pathway for Sustainable Development

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— Prabhat Ranjan, KU Leuven We all have encountered the word “catalysis” during our high school chemistry. Catalyst is a substance which can accelerate the kinetics of a reaction without getting chemically involved in it. Ultimately, first question which arises in our mind is “ How does this happen?” In order to understand the behavior of catalyst,  let me take you ...

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New paper on advances in nanocatalysts design for biofuels production

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  Alessio Zuliani wrote a mini review on advances in nanocatalysts design for biofuels production The exploitation of nanocatalysts, at the boundary between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, is tracking new efficient ways to produce renewable biofuels in environmentally friendly conditions. Their solid state makes them recyclable, and their nanomateric particle size enables high activities approaching those offered by homogeneous catalysts, ...

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Interdisciplinary Aspects of Continuous Sono-Chemical Pharmaceutical Crystallization

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—Mohammed Noorul Hussain, KU Leuven The pharmaceutical industry that is leading a $1000 Billion worldwide market, is looking forward to a new future with the use of techniques like ultrasound. Ultrasound can potentially increase nucleation rates that will reduce the production time. Also, as the industry is fast moving towards continuous crystallization by replacing the existing cumbersome batch reactors, isn’t it ...

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First COSMIC paper on Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Ni nanoparticles

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            Alessio Zuliani published the first paper on Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Catalytically Active Magnetic Metallic Ni Nanoparticles Pure magnetic metallic nickel was synthesized by a simple and fast microwave-assisted method using a monomode microwave reactor. Nickel chloride was employed as metal precursor, while an environmental-friendly mixture of ethylene glycol and ethanol ...

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The Adventure Behind a Secondment!

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— Heidy Ramirez, Arkema It has been two months since I moved to Leuven, Belgium for my secondment at KU Leuven. Wait a moment… why am I in Belgium and what is a secondment? Marie Curie projects are characterized by international mobility, intersectoral and multidisciplinary exchange; a secondment is a short period of time in which the ESR is received by ...

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Easier, Faster and with Less Waste: Complex Molecules on Tap

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— Vidmantas Bieliūnas, KU Leuven When I first had the opportunity to visit a rather small and shabby chemical plant, I was bewildered by the sheer magnitude of a standard batch reactor. Having only worked with flasks that range from 5 milliliters to 5 liters, the 12000-liter reactors looked both amazing and scary. Then I heard a few stories about failed ...

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A Chemical Crossword

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Today we’d like to bring you a chemical crossword created by María Jesús that we hope you find interesting. (In case you decide to write on your computer screen, we suggest using non-permanent markers and public computers) 1. To make or become intense or more intense. 2. The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service ...

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The Strange Discovery of Microwaves

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—Roberta Manno, University of Zaragoza “One day a dozen years ago, Percy Spencer was visiting the lab where magnetrons, the power tubes of radar sets, were being tested. Suddenly, he felt a peanut bar had begun to melt in his pocket…” What would you do in this situation? Well Percy Spencer sent a boy out for popcorn’s box. When he ...

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COSMIC Summer School started

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Yesterday, the COSMIC Summer School in Ultrasound and Microwaves for Chemical Processing started. 38 participants followed the lectures on Introduction to ultrasound by Prof. J-Y. Hihn. Today they will follow lectures on ultrasound assisted separation processes and will be introduced to microwave technology. In the afternoon, the first lab sessions will start so that they will also experience the world ...

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Ultrasound for Nanoparticles Synthesis

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 — Luca Panariello, UCL Ultrasound is sound waves with frequencies higher than the upper audible limit of human hearing. It is no different from “normal” audible sound in its physical properties, except that humans cannot hear it. The feasibility of converting sound into chemistry was demonstrated more than 80 years ago, when Lord Rayleigh postulated the existence of cavitation bubbles. Ultrasound ...

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