29 Mar '13, 7pm

Nanoparticles Combined with Light Reverses Rusting

Nanoparticles Combined with Light Reverses Rusting

Research out of the University of Michigan may have developed a method for reversing the process of rusting . But perhaps the more important potential for the development, which involves exposing copper nanoparticles to high-intensity light, will be its ability to create propylene oxide, a precursor for making many plastics. Researchers have frequently been turning to nanomaterials to serve as catalysts for speeding up a number of industrial chemical processes—as well as other smaller scale reactions , such as those found in fuel cells—because the nanoscale of the particles creates more surface area and therefore makes them more reactive. It’s similar to cubes of sugar compared to granulated sugar. If you put two cubes of sugar on a table and then place the equivalent amount of the granulated version next to it, the latter would take up much more surface area on your table...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/nanotec...

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