Chemical Engineering News

MIT Engineers Program Yeast to Convert Plant Sugars Into Oils

January 16, 2017

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MIT Engineers Program Yeast to Convert Plant Sugars Into Oils

By modifying the metabolic pathways of yeast, chemical engineers from MIT are able to convert plant sugars into oils. MIT engineers have genetically reprogrammed a strain of yeast so that it converts sugars to fats much more efficiently, an advance that could make possible the renewable production of high-energy fuels such as diesel. The researchers, […]

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New Material Provides an Elastic “Second Skin”

December 27, 2016

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MIT Engineers Develop Second skin Polymer

A team of researchers has developed a “second skin” polymer that can provide a barrier, cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver drugs. Scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, Living Proof, and Olivo Labs have developed a new material that can temporarily protect and tighten skin, and smooth wrinkles. With further development, it could also be used […]

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Heme Molecule May Be The Key To More Effficient Batteries

October 19, 2016

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Lithium-Oxygen (Li-O2) Batteries

New research from Yale University shows that a molecule that transports oxygen in blood could be key to developing the next generation of batteries. Lithium-oxygen (Li-O2) batteries have emerged in recent years as a possible successor to lithium-ion batteries — the industry standard for consumer electronics — due to their potential for holding a charge […]

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MIT Scientists Develop New Method to Deliver Beneficial Bacteria to the GI Tract

September 20, 2016

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Researchers Develop New Method to Deliver Beneficial Bacteria to the GI Tract

By coating bacteria with polymer layers that protect them from the acids and bile salts found in the digestive tract, scientists from MIT have developed a new strategy for delivering large numbers of beneficial bacterial to the human gut. The human digestive tract contains trillions of bacteria, many of which help digest food and fight […]

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A New Design Strategy for Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

July 12, 2016

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Yale Engineers Charging Toward Better Lithium Oxygen Batteries

Yale researchers have devised a method that brings marketable Li-O2 batteries closer to reality, improving both the batteries’ performance and the ability to study them. In recent years, lithium-oxygen batteries have intrigued researchers with their potential. They can store at least two to three times the energy as lithium-ion batteries can, which are the current standard […]

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Yale Engineers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

July 1, 2016

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Researchers Turn Wasted Heat Into Power

Yale University engineers have developed a new technology that makes energy from the low-temperature wasted heat produced by industrial sources and power plants. It is estimated that recoverable waste heat in the U.S. alone could power tens of millions of homes. Although existing technologies can reuse high-temperature heat or convert it to electricity, it is […]

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New Nanoparticle Catalysts Improve Reactivity with Much Less Platinum

May 23, 2016

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MIT Develops New Nanoparticle Catalysts

Using an atomically-thin coating of noble metal over a tiny particle made of a much more abundant and inexpensive material, MIT engineers have developed new nanoparticle catalysts that could reduce need for precious metals. Materials that speed up a chemical reaction without getting consumed in the process, known as catalysts, lie at the heart of […]

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Researchers Improve Bulk Metallic Glass Nanostructures

December 23, 2015

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Guided Evolution of Bulk Metallic Glass Nanostructures

Scientists from Yale University have figured out a way to refine bulk metallic glasses to improve their electrochemical performance. Results of the research, based in the lab of chemical and environmental engineering professor André D. Taylor, are published in the December 22 issue of Advanced Materials. Bulk metallic glass (BMG), also known as amorphous metal […]

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MIT Engineers Develop a Shockwave-Based Process for Desalination of Water

November 12, 2015

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New Shockwave-Based Process for Desalination of Water

Chemical engineers from MIT have developed an efficient shockwave-based process to treat salty, brackish or contaminated water to make it usable. As the availability of clean, potable water becomes an increasingly urgent issue in many parts of the world, researchers are searching for new ways to treat salty, brackish or contaminated water to make it […]

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Drinking Water Contamination Likely from Hydraulic Fracturing Surface Releases, Not Migration from Gas Wells or Deep Shale Layers

October 13, 2015

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Elevated Organic Compounds Found in Pennsylvania Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing

Engineers at Yale University reveal that the presence of organic compounds in groundwater aquifers in Pennsylvania is likely the result of surface releases from hydraulic fracturing operations and not migration from gas wells or deep shale layers. In the largest study of its kind, a Yale-led investigation found no evidence that trace contamination of organic […]

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SEAS Engineers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

August 12, 2015

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SEAS Researchers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

Using a technique that mimics how plants use solar energy and forcing two otherwise incompatible molecules to work together to cover the full color spectrum, engineers from Yale University have significantly increased the efficiency of polymer solar cells. The researchers, in Dr. Andre Taylor’s Transformative Materials & Devices Lab, developed a solar cell that performed […]

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Optimal Size and Shape Results in Better Medical Implants

May 18, 2015

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Optimal Size and Shape Improve Implantable Devices

In a newly published study, scientists from MIT reveal that the geometry of implantable devices has a significant impact on how well the body will tolerate them. Biomedical devices that can be implanted in the body for drug delivery, tissue engineering, or sensing can help improve treatment for many diseases. However, such devices are often […]

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Life Possible on Saturn’s Moon Titan

March 2, 2015

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Life Possible on Titan

In a new study, chemical engineers and astronomers from Cornell University reveal that Titan could harbor methane-based, oxygen-free cells that metabolize, reproduce and do everything life on Earth does. Liquid water is a requirement for life on Earth. But in other, much colder worlds, life might exist beyond the bounds of water-based chemistry. Taking a […]

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Chemical Engineers Design New Self-Healing Hydrogel for Drug Delivery

February 25, 2015

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New Self-healing Nanogel for Drug Delivery

Chemical engineers from MIT have designed a new type of self-healing hydrogel that consists of a mesh network made of two components: nanoparticles made of polymers entwined within strands of another polymer, such as cellulose. Scientists are interested in using gels to deliver drugs because they can be molded into specific shapes and designed to […]

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Engineered Insulin Stays in Bloodstream, Offers Better Diabetes Control

February 10, 2015

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Engineered Insulin Offers Better Diabetes Control

Engineers from MIT have developed insulin that can circulate in the bloodstream for hours, responding rapidly to changes in blood-sugar levels. For patients with diabetes, insulin is critical to maintaining good health and normal blood-sugar levels. However, it’s not an ideal solution because it can be difficult for patients to determine exactly how much insulin […]

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Special Coating Prevents Batteries from Conducting Electricity after Being Swallowed

November 4, 2014

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Special Coating Makes Batteries Safer

A new special coating developed by a team of researchers prevents electrical current from damaging the digestive tract after accidental battery ingestion. Every year, nearly 4,000 children go to emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries — the flat, round batteries that power toys, hearing aids, calculators, and many other devices. Ingesting these batteries has severe […]

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Different Environment Helps Boost Biofuel Production

October 6, 2014

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MIT Engineers Develop New Approach to Boosting Biofuel Production

By simply altering the composition of the medium in which the yeast are grown, engineers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT were able to boost yeast’s ethanol production by about 80 percent. Yeast are commonly used to transform corn and other plant materials into biofuels such as ethanol. However, large concentrations of […]

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MIT Engineers Develop Coated Tissue Scaffolds That Help Stimulate New Bone Growth

August 21, 2014

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Coated Tissue Scaffolds Help the Body Grow New Bone

Chemical engineers from MIT have developed coated tissue scaffolds that help the body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects. MIT chemical engineers have devised a new implantable tissue scaffold coated with bone growth factors that are released slowly over a few weeks. When applied to bone injuries or defects, this coated scaffold […]

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