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NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show

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May 08, 2006 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will present the following at Nanotech 2006, May 7-11, in Boston, Mass.

Nano sorbents remove mercury and other contaminants from waste streams

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory continue to explore new applications for a PNNL-developed class of high-performance nanoporous sorbents that provide efficient and cost-effective removal of metal contaminants from waste streams. Self-Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Silica, or SAMMS™, are hybrids of two frontiers in materials science: molecular self-assembly techniques and nanoporous materials. Various forms of SAMMS™ have shown exceptional sorptive properties not only for actinides, but also for soft cations such as mercury, silver, cadmium and lead, and tetrahedral oxyanions, including selenate, molybdate, chromate and pertechnetate. For example, a recent demonstration with a filtration equipment company in Texas demonstrated that thiol-SAMMS™ is effective in removing more than 99 percent of mercury from gas condensate liquids containing approximately 800 ppb mercury. PNNL received an R&D 100 Award for thiol-SAMMS™ and a 2006 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for successful transfer of the technology to commercial use.

PNNL scientist Shas Mattigod will discuss "Functionalized Nanoporous Ceramic Sorbents for Removal of Mercury and Other Contaminants" at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, in Room 202.

Hydrogen fuel cells become faster and greener with new catalyst

Hydrogen fuel cells powered by methanol are a promising option for reducing the nation’s nearly 200 billion-gallon-per-year gasoline habit. But, making the technology a reality requires catalysts that speed up the chemical reactions while working under everyday conditions. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Idaho have developed a highly efficient catalyst of multi-walled carbon nanotubes decorated with tiny particles of a platinum and ruthenium composite. Preparation is a key factor in determining the activity of a catalyst. The researchers selected a process using supercritical carbon dioxide, which has the properties of a gas and a liquid. The supercritical fluid technology may result in products and processes that are cleaner, less expensive and of higher quality than those produced using conventional solvents. The technology also is easily manipulated to allow a fine degree of control and is easily separated from the catalyst. Moreover, it is nontoxic, which could improve worker safety and reduce environmental impacts.

PNNL scientist Yuehe Lin will discuss “Pt and Pt-Ru/Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites Synthesized in Supercritical Fluid as Electrocatalysts for Low-Temperature Fuel Cells” at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 10, in Room 209.

Biomarkers show off their new nanoparticle labels

WANTED: An accurate, economical and quick way to detect biological markers that can signal the onset of serious medical conditions. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered the basis for a new method aimed at the tumor necrosis factor alpha, a biomarker for many problems, including HIV infection, graft rejection and rheumatoid arthritis. First, a sample of bodily fluid is mixed with a label consisting of polyguanine attached to silica nanoparticles. The label attaches itself to the tumor necrosis factor alpha in the sample. Then, the labeled factor binds with the antibodies on the outer layer of the sensor’s carbon nanotubes. The current produced when the sensor is immersed in a special solution is proportional to the number of polyguanine labels nearby which, in turn, depends on the amount of necrosis factor in the sample. Through the use of these nanoparticle labels, the sensor provides ultra-sensitive measurements of the amount of biomarker present.

PNNL postdoctoral fellow Guodong Liu will discuss “Nanoparticle Labels/ Electrochemical Immunosensor for Detection of Biomarkers” at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, May 11, in Room 106.

Tags: Energy, Fuel Cells

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