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Natural mineral tetrahedrite as a direct source of thermoelectric materials

Thermoelectric (TE) materials make possible the direct conversion of waste heat into electricity, potentially improving energy efficiency or providing an alternative energy source. TE materials experience the thermoelectric effect, whereby voltage is generated when there is a temperature gradient within the material. Since 1995, advances in enginee...
Published: 7/21/2014   |   Inventor(s): Xu Lu, Donald Morelli
Keywords(s):   Category(s): Energy, Electrical, Materials

110048: Ambiently Dried Aerogel for Thermal Insulation in High-Temperature Applications

Innovators at Michigan State University (MSU) have developed a novel porous silica-based aerogel material and the process for its fabrication. In contrast to the supercritically dried aerogel, a related material, the MSU approach uses gel and liquid extraction. Evaporation of the precursor solvent is performed at room temperature and pressure, prod...
Published: 7/21/2014   |   Inventor(s): Jeffrey Sakamoto, Ryan Maloney, Travis Thompson
Keywords(s): Aerogel, Insulation, Sol-gel, Thermal Conductivity Category(s): Chemicals, Materials

100096: Economical Growth Media for Production of Cellulolytic Enzymes at High Concentrations

Producing biofuels from cellulosic materials, such as corn stalks, wood chips, and other biomass, requires the use of enzymes to degrade the cellulosic biomass into its molecular components. The cost to produce these enzymes is high, a factor contributing to the limited production of cellulosic ethanol. Michigan State University’s invention ...
Published: 7/21/2014   |   Inventor(s): Ming Woei Lau, Bruce Dale
Keywords(s): Biodiesel, Biomass, Cellulose, Enzymes Category(s): Biotechnology, Chemicals, Materials

100064: Microbial Rectifiers and Uses Thereof

When grown in vitro under various conditions, Geobacteraceae bacteria produce conductive protein filaments known as microbial or pilus nanowires. These microbial nanowires show promise for applications in nanoelectronics and bio-electronics. Current methods for producing microbial nanowires are limited by an inability to produce microbial nano...
Published: 7/21/2014   |   Inventor(s): Gemma Reguera, Stuart Tessmer, Joshua Veazey, Sanela Lampa-Pastirk
Keywords(s): Filament, Microbial, Nanowire, Proteins Category(s): Biotechnology, Materials

090132: Synthesize Highly Reactive Subnano-Sized Zero-Valent Iron using Smectite Clay Templates

Zero-valent iron is a reactive and powerful reducing agent capable of breaking down toxic compounds. More recently, nanoscale ZVI has emerged as a remediation technology used to degrade toxic chemicals. The nanoscale material (10-100 nanometer particle size) is often preferred because it has significantly more surface area than standard ZVI, wh...

090127: Method to Improve Membrane Structures in Active Packaging Systems

Active packaging systems are desirable for specialized applications in the packaging of foods, chemicals, and medicines. Active packaging refers to the way materials embedded in the packaging membrane interact with the product to improve its shelf life, quality, and safety. Materials such as zeolite, alumina, and silica have been previously ad...
Published: 7/21/2014   |   Inventor(s): Rafael Auras, Susan Selke, Dhayalan Elangovan, Isinay Yuzay
Keywords(s): Hydrogen Storage, PLA, Polylactic Acid Category(s): Food Science and Nutrition, Materials, Packaging

090062: Improved Method for Succinic Acid Recovery

Succinic acid and other carboxylic acids have commercial relevance in the pharmaceutical, food, and polymer production industries, as well as in the manufacture of other industrial chemicals. Description MSU’s invention simplifies the process for the recovery of succinic acid from fermentation broths in the form of ethyl esters, which enables ...

080067: Non-Precious Metal Catalysts Synthesized Through a High Pyrolysis Method

Fuel cells convert fuel, like hydrogen or methanol, into electrical current to provide power for various applications. There are many types of fuel cells, which vary by material, fuels, and byproducts produced. For example, a hydrogen fuel cell uses a catalytic surface to electrochemically oxidize a fuel to liberate a proton (H+) and capture t...

Nanoclay Modification and Compound Formulation for Foaming Linear Polypropylene

Linear polypropylene is not ideal for making foams for sealing purposes due to poor melt strength. The attempts to overcome this limitation by cross-linking a portion of the linear polymer or by adding a long chained branched polymer have resulted in unwanted side effects, such as a reduction in recyclability. Additionally, long chain branched ...

070121: Conductive Sheet Molding Compound with Carbon Based Nanomaterials

Graphite is a layered material and the stiffest material found in nature--significantly higher than clay that could be displaced by this invention in related applications. Graphite has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. MSU has developed an inexpensive process to produce exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets (xGnP) which when added to p...
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