Mimicking nature’s cellular architectures via 3D printing
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being compressed.
The plant’s hardiness comes from a combination of its hollow, tubular macrostructure and porous, or cellular, microstructure. These architectural features work together to give grass its robust mechanical properties.
Inspired by natural cellular structures, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and MIT have developed a new method to 3D print materials with independently tunable macro-and microscale porosity using a ceramic foam ink.
Their approach could be used to fabricate lightweight structural materials, thermal insulation or tissue scaffolds. The research is published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Science.
“By expanding the compositional space of printable materials, we can produce lightweight structures with exceptional stiffness,” said Jennifer Lewis, Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at SEAS and senior author of the paper. Lewis is also a Core Faculty Member of the Wyss.
The ceramic foam ink used by the Lewis Lab contains alumina particles, water, and air.
“Foam inks are interesting because you can digitally pattern cellular microstructures within larger cellular macrostructures,” said Joseph Muth, a graduate student in the Lewis Lab and first author of the paper. “After the ink solidifies, the resulting structure consists of air surrounded by ceramic material on multiple length scales. As you incorporate porosity into the structure, you impart properties that it otherwise would not have.”
By controlling the foam’s microstructure, the researchers tuned the ink’s properties and how it deformed on the microscale. Once optimized, the team printed lightweight hexagonal and triangular honeycombs, with tunable geometry, density, and stiffness.
“This process combines the best of both worlds,” said Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who coauthored the paper. “You get the microstructural control with foam processing and global architectural control with printing. Because we’re printing something that already contains a specific microstructure, we don’t have to pattern each individual piece. That allows us to make structures with specific hierarchy in a more controllable way than we could do before.”
“We can now make multifunctional materials, in which many different material properties, including mechanical, thermal, and transport characteristics, can be optimized within a structure that is printed in a single step,” said Muth.
While the team focused on a single ceramic material for this research, printable foam inks can be made from many materials, including other ceramics, metals, and polymers.
“This work represents an important step toward the scalable fabrication of architected porous materials,” said Lewis.
Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) has filed a patent application and is considering commercialization opportunities.
This research was coauthored by Patrick G. Dixon and Logan Woish. It was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.
Chemists Unveil Versatile New Method for Making Chiral Drug Molecules
Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have invented a new technique for constructing chiral drug molecules.
Chiral molecules are those whose structural complexity allows them to have mirror-image, “left-handed” and “right-handed” forms. For drug molecules, usually only one of those forms works—the other may even have unwanted side-effects—and thus pharmaceutical chemists have a great need for methods to build molecules in a single chiral form, rather than an even mix of both.
The new molecular construction technique, unveiled in a Science online First Release paper on February 2, 2017, represents a significant milestone in chiral chemistry. It creates a structure that chemists call an α–chiral center, thereby enabling the synthesis of a great variety of potentially valuable chiral drugs and other products. At the same time—unlike most previous chirality-inducing reactions—it requires only inexpensive and widely available starting chemicals.
“This method essentially mimics the ability of the enzymes in our cells to turn simple organic molecules into chiral molecules,” said senior author Jin-Quan Yu, Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor in the Department of Chemistry at TSRI.
Over the past decade or so, Yu and his laboratory have invented dozens of new molecule-building reactions that have been adopted widely by chemists in academia and industry. Most are C-H activation reactions, which remove a hydrogen (H) atom—the simplest and most common feature of organic molecules—from one of the carbon (C) atoms of the molecular backbone, and replace it with a more complex cluster of atoms called a functional group. Increasingly, Yu and his colleagues have designed these reactions to create the asymmetry needed for chiral drugs.
In a paper in Science last August, for example, they described a set of chiral asymmetry-making reactions that work by selectively activating just one of the two hydrogen atoms on a methylene group (CH2), a feature of many organic molecules. Like most of the C-H activations developed by the Yu Laboratory, this reaction employs a palladium atom to break the targeted C-H bond, and a special “ligand” molecule to steer the palladium atom precisely where it needs to go.
The new set of reactions has an even more challenging target: a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms known as an isopropyl group, another feature of many organic molecules.
The ligands developed for the reaction, derivatives of aminomethyl oxazoline, effectively select a carbon at just one side of the isopropyl group and replace one of its hydrogen atoms with a functional group.
Yu’s team showed that they can use the ligands to add aryl, alkene and alkyne functional groups—common building-blocks in the construction of drug molecules.
The intended starting material for the new reactions is an isopropyl-bearing molecule called isobutyric acid, although the reactions also work well on related molecules. Isobutyric acid is cheaply produced in very large quantities using standard industrial methods, and it can also can be generated from waste biomass such as crushed sugar cane—making it a more environmentally friendly ingredient for chemical reactions.
Isobutyric acid is also found in nature, and bacteria and other organisms have evolved enzymes that convert it to natural chiral molecules. In the past few decades, pharmaceutical chemists have learned to harness some of these natural enzyme reactions—using genetically engineered bacteria—to help them build chiral drug molecules. However, these enzyme-driven reactions are restricted to isobutyric acid as a starting molecule and are very limited in the chiral molecules they can yield. The new ligand/catalyst, while essentially mimicking nature’s synthetic feat, is much more versatile.
“Now that we know how to selectively break that one C-H bond with a palladium catalyst, we’re not limited to the reactions that enzymes can do,” Yu said.
He added that researchers at Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has a research collaboration agreement with the Yu Laboratory, are already using the new reactions to make potential new drug molecules.
Building a better microbial fuel cell—using paper
The concept behind microbial fuel cells, which rely on bacteria to generate an electrical current, is more than a century old.
But turning that concept into a usable tool has been a long process. Microbial fuel cells, or MFCs, are more promising today than ever, but before their adoption can become widespread, they need to be both cheaper and more efficient.
Researchers at the University of Rochester have made significant progress toward those ends. In a fuel cell that relies on bacteria found in wastewater, Kara Bren, a professor of chemistry, and Peter Lamberg, a postdoctoral fellow, have developed an electrode using a common household material: paper.
Until now, most electrodes used in wastewater have consisted of metal (which rapidly corrodes) or carbon felt. While the latter is the less expensive alternative, carbon felt is porous and prone to clogging.
Their solution was to replace the carbon felt with paper coated with carbon paste, which is a simple mixture of graphite and mineral oil. The carbon paste-paper electrode is not only cost-effective and easy to prepare; it also outperforms carbon felt.
“The paper electrode has more than twice the current density than the felt model,” says Bren.
Carbon paste is an essential ingredient due to its role in attracting electrons emitted by the bacteria. The specific bacterium used in Bren’s project was Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, which consumes toxic heavy metal ions in the wastewater and ejects electrons. Those electrons are attracted to the carbon coating on the positive electrode—the anode.
From there, they flow to the platinum cathode, which needs electrons to carry out its own electrochemical reactions.
In making their electrode, Bren and Lamberg created a layered sandwich of paper, carbon paste, a conducting polymer, and a film of the bacteria. This easily constructed electrode, surprisingly, had an average output of the circuit of 2.24 A m-2 (amps per unit area), compared to 0.94 A m-2 with the felt anode.
“We’ve come up with an electrode that’s simple, inexpensive, and more efficient,” says Lamberg. “As a result, it will be easy to modify it for further study and applications in the future.”
Up, Up and Away: USU Chemists say 'Yes, ' Helium Can Form Compounds
Can helium bond with other elements to form a stable compound? Students attentive to Utah State University professor Alex Boldyrev’s introductory chemistry lectures would immediately respond “no.” And they’d be correct – if the scholars are standing on the Earth’s surface.
But all bets are off, if the students journey to the center of the Earth, à la Jules Verne’s Otto Lidenbrock or if they venture to one of the solar system’s large planets, such as Jupiter or Saturn.
“That’s because extremely high pressure, like that found at the Earth’s core or giant neighbors, completely alters helium’s chemistry,” says Boldyrev, faculty member in USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
It’s a surprising finding, he says, because, on Earth, helium is a chemically inert and unreactive compound that eschews connections with other elements and compounds. The first of the noble gases, helium features an extremely stable, closed-shell electronic configuration, leaving no openings for connections.
Further, Boldyrev’s colleagues confirmed computationally and experimentally that sodium, never an earthly comrade to helium, readily bonds with the standoffish gas under high pressure to form the curious Na2He compound. These findings were so unexpected, Boldyrev says, that he and colleagues struggled for more than two years to convince science reviewers and editors to publish their results.
Persistence paid off. Boldyrev and his doctoral student Ivan Popov, as members of an international research group led by Artem Oganov of Stony Brook University, published the pioneering findings in the Feb. 6, 2017, issue of Nature Chemistry. The USU chemists’ participation in the project was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
Boldyrev and Popov’s role in the project was to interpret a chemical bonding in the computational model developed by Oganov and the experimental results generated by Alexander Goncharov of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Initially, the Na2He compound was found to consist of Na8 cubes, of which half were occupied by helium atoms and half were empty.
“Yet, when we performed chemical bonding analysis of these structures, we found each ‘empty’ cube actually contained an eight-center, two-electron bond,” Boldyrev says.
“This bond is what’s responsible for the stability of this enchanting compound.”
Their findings advanced the research to another step.
“As we explore the structure of this compound, we’re deciphering how this bond occurs and we predicted that, adding oxygen, we could create a similar compound,” says Popov, who is one of two scholars named 2017 College of Science PhD Researcher of the Year.
Such knowledge raises big questions about chemistry and how elements behave beyond the world we know.
Questions, Boldyrev says, Earth’s inhabitants need to keep in mind as they consider long-term space travel.
“With the recent discovery of multiple exoplanets, we’re reminded of the vastness of the universe,” he says. “Our understanding of chemistry has to change and expand beyond the confines of our own planet.”
Organic matter composition found to be critical factor in mercury methylation
In a collaborative effort, researchers at Uppsala and Umeå University now show that the formation of methylmercury in sediment is controlled by the molecular composition of the organic matter. The study has been published in Nature Communications.
The widespread occurrence of mercury (Hg) in the environment and, especially in fish has been highlighted because of the harmful effects of mercury compounds on the health of humans and other animals. It is mainly the methylated form of mercury (methyl mercury) that accumulates in aquatic food webs. Exposure to methyl mercury, occurring mainly through fish consumption, can affect the nervous, reproductive, and immune systems of vertebrates, including fish, birds, and humans.
It is well known that certain bacteria and archaea have the capacity to transform inorganic mercury to methylmercury. The transformation takes place under the oxygen limited conditions typically found in wetlands and sediments, but we still do not know how mercury methylation is controlled and influenced by the prevailing environmental conditions. Now a new study from Uppsala and Umeå University demonstrates that the molecular composition of the sediment organic matter plays a central role for mercury methylation.
“The study represents an important step towards a better understanding of the molecular-level processes controlling methyl mercury levels in boreal lakes at a global scale. The new information might also enable a more highly resolved and more robust mapping and modeling of mercury-related health hazards related to aquaculture and fisheries,” says Andrea Garcia Bravo, postdoctoral researcher at the Limnology program at Uppsala University and lead scientist for the study.
By tracking the transformation of isotope-labeled mercury compounds, the researchers could measure the mercury methylation rates in sediments from different Swedish lakes. Subsequently, the molecular composition of the sediment organic matter was determined with a new pyrolysis-mass spectrometry method developed by the co-author Julie Tolu.
“It is well known that the organic matter is the principal source of energy for the organisms performing mercury methylation, but the strong coupling between specific organic compounds and mercury methylation rates surprised us,” says Erik Björn, associate professor at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University.
The results demonstrate that organic compounds originating from phytoplankton (e.g. from cyanobacterial blooms) are coupled to high mercury methylation. In contrast, carbon compounds from the watershed do not have this stimulating effect.
“Instead, the presence of such organic compounds in the sediments are linked to import of large amounts of methyl mercury formed in the surrounding soils and wetlands,” explains Stefan Bertilsson, Professor at Uppsala University.
Penn Researchers Are Among the First to Grow a Versatile Two-dimensional Material
University of Pennsylvania researchers are now among the first to produce a single, three-atom-thick layer of a unique two-dimensional material called tungsten ditelluride. Their findings have been published in 2-D Materials.
Unlike other two-dimensional materials, scientists believe tungsten ditelluride has what are called topological electronic states. This means that it can have many different properties not just one.
When one thinks about two-dimensional materials, graphene is probably the first that comes to mind.
The tightly packed, atomically thin sheet of carbon first produced in 2004 has inspired countless avenues in research that could revolutionize everything from technology to drinking water.
One of the most important properties of graphene is that it’s what’s called a zero bandgap semiconductor in that it can behave as both a metal and a semiconductor.
But there are tons of other properties that 2-D materials can have. Some can insulate, others can emit light and still others can be spintronic, meaning they have magnetic properties.
“Graphene is just graphene,” said A.T. Charlie Johnson, a physics professor in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. “It just does what graphene does. If you want to have functioning systems that are based on 2-D materials, then you want 2-D materials that have all of the different physical properties that we know about.”
In this new research, Johnson, physics professor James Kikkawa and graduate students Carl Naylor and William Parkin were able to produce and measure the properties of a single layer of tungsten ditelluride.
“Because tungsten ditelluride is three atoms thick, the atoms can be arranged in different ways,” Johnson said. “These three atoms can take on slightly different configurations with respect to each other. One configuration is predicted to give these topological properties.”
The researchers were able to grow this material using a process called chemical vapor deposition. Using a hot-tube furnace, they heated a chip containing tungsten to the right temperature and then introduced a vapor containing tellurium.
Although this material degrades extremely rapidly in air, Naylor, the paper’s first author, figured out ways to protect the material so that it could be studied before it was destroyed.
One thing the researchers found is that the material grows in little rectangular crystallites, rather than the triangles that other materials grow in.
“This reflects the rectangular symmetry in the material,” Johnson said. “They have a different structure so they tend to grow in different shapes.”
Researchers haven’t yet been able to produce a continuous film, they hope to conduct experiments to show that it has the topological electronic properties that are predicted.
One property of these topological systems is that any current traveling through the material would only be carried on the edges, and no current would travel through the center of the material. If researchers were able to produce single-layer-thick materials with this property, they may be able to route an electrical signal to go off into different locations.
The ability of this material to have multiple properties could also have implications in quantum computing, which taps into the power of atoms and subatomic phenomena to perform calculations significantly faster than current computers. These 2-D materials might allow for an intrinsically error-tolerant form of quantum computing called topologically protected quantum computing, which requires both semiconducting and superconducting materials.
“With these 2-D materials, you want to realize as many physical properties as possible,” Johnson said. “We created the material where these are predicted to occur, so in that sense we've moved towards this very big goal in the field.”
NEW EVAPORATIVE TECHNIQUE IMPROVES ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLE PREPARATION
Genevac reports on a customer paper that describes the development and advantages of a new evaporative methodology for Mass Spectroscopic (MS) analysis replacing the traditional Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) technique for preparing environmental samples.
In recent years HPLC/MS/MS and UPLC have become the sensitive and specific techniques of choice for the detection of algal toxins in water. While the majority of published studies employ SPE for preparing environmental samples for MS or UPLC analysis, using this methodology can be very time consuming. In this paper a direct solvent evaporation methodology, using the Genevac EZ-2 evaporator, is evaluated as a means to reduce the lengthy sample preparation process prior to MS analysis and to improve efficiency. The authors demonstrate that using the EZ-2 for their sample preparation reduces processing time, simplified sample preparation and eliminated variability in percent water of the final solution. They conclude that the direct evaporative sample preparation method offers distinct advantages over SPE by eliminating the sample clean-up step, improving reproducibility, decreasing analysis time, minimising waste generation and being more cost effective. In addition, as minimal sample handling is required using the direct evaporative methodology, this reduces the risk of cross contamination and analyte loss.
SAFEGUARDING SAMPLES FROM POTENTIAL THERMAL DEGRADATION
Genevac, market leader in solvent removal, has announced the latest version of its proprietary autostop when dry control software which allows it’s EZ-2, Rocket and HT-Series evaporators to automatically detect when the samples are dry and then shut it down - safeguarding valuable samples from potential thermal degradation. Combined with Genevac's continuous running condensers, autostop when dry control software allows easy unattended operation offering the possibility of significant increases in productivity through use of overnight evaporation runs. Until the introduction of autostop when dry control software - evaporators users had to constantly monitor or estimate the drying time for a given sample. Genevac autostop when dry control software overcomes this problem by using one of two methods to determine when dryness has been reached and then automatically shutting down the evaporator without further user intervention. With Genevac evaporators the software detection of sample dryness is determined either by the rate of heat flow into the sample or by temperature convergence using pre-positioned probes in sample holder and sample. Either method gives significant time savings over traditional manual methods as well as freeing up operator time for other more productive tasks.
www.spscientific.com/genevac - firstname.lastname@example.org
ISERA LAUNCHES METAB-AAC COLUMNS FOR THE ANALYSIS OF HIGHLY POLAR, SMALL MOLECULES
ISERA GmbH a producer and distributor of accessories and consumables for chromatographic analytical methods has enlarged its portfolio by the addition of the new Metab-AAC line. Chromatography columns of this HPLC line are intended for the analysis of highly polar, small molecules like organic acids, alcohols, sugars, polar metabolites and similar compounds.
The columns are based on a polystyrene-divinylbenzene polymeric phase and have been developed for the use in QC as well as R&D in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and biotech industry. A long lifetime is ensured by a robust column hardware and simple application procedures.
With the Metab-AAC line the company has once more broadened its product range of high quality columns for HPLC and GC analytics. The production facility of the company is located in Dueren, Germany. Here, not only chromatography columns are produced but also surface modifications of glass articles are carried out. This is another key competence of the company. The resulting inertised glass items like inertised sample vials are part of ISERA´s product spectrum as well as products for sample preparation, spectral lamps, syringes and a broad range of different samples vials and closures.
JOHNSON MATTHEY LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE CATALYST STORE
Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT), a leading provider of pharmaceutical services, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and catalyst technologies, is pleased to announce the launch of its new online catalyst store. The store has been introduced to provide customers with easy access to research quantities of commercial grade ligands and catalysts, to accelerate development of efficient and economic processes to pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and other applications. Customers can now easily search for and directly buy a range of homogeneous catalysts for cross-coupling and asymmetric transformations. A wider variety of Johnson Matthey Fine Chemicals products, including heterogeneous catalysts and proprietary enzymes for biocatalysis, will become available online later this year. The store integrates with the Johnson Matthey Catalyst Reaction Guide (CRG) App, and together these allow customers to search for an efficient catalyst for a wide range of reactions and then directly purchase their optimal catalyst in just a few moments. “The new Johnson Matthey Catalyst Store provides our customers with direct access to our world-leading catalysts,” commented Gerard Compagnoni General Manager Johnson Matthey Catalysts & Chiral Technologies. “Not only will this make catalyst sourcing simpler, but customers can be assured that the products they use for development will meet the same quality and performance as they scale up for commercial production”.
The new Johnson Matthey Catalyst Store can be found at https://jm.octochemstore.com/
LA MESTA ANNOUNCES THE COMPLETION OF A NEW MULTIPURPOSE WORKSHOP DEDICATED TO CONTINUOUS PROCESS
As part of its strategy to develop new ways of making chemistry, La Mesta has just completed a key investment.
This new workshop will allow to transfer industrial existing productions from batch to continuous flow, reducing safety issues, environmental footprint and cost of production.
This investment dedicated to continuous industrial chemistry comes after more than 10 years of production using its proprietary Continuous Flow Reactor RAPTOR®. Over this period, La Mesta has produced in continuous more than 100 MT of different products involving highly exothermic, carbonylation, decarboxylation and phosgene reactions.
The first process transferred involves a specific highly exothermic reaction, including the work-up treatment in continuous (washing & decantation). By end 2017, a thin film evaporation capability will be added to the workshop in order to perform the distillation, in order to get the full integrated continuous process, starting from the raw material up to the distillated product.
By this investment, La Mesta opens a new area of its innovation strategy and confirms its position of worldwide leader in multipurpose Continuous Processes dedicated to Fine Chemistry.
At La Mesta, we have the perfect solution to handle hazardous reactions or to reduce the cost of production. By visiting our premises close to Nice-French Riviera, you will be able to see an elegant, innovative and efficient way to produce fine chemicals under GMP or non-GMP. Please contact us for more details.
PRODUCING MUCH MORE WITH MUCH LESS
VITO OFFERS COMPETITIVE ALTERNATIVES FOR THE PROCESS INDUSTRY
To remain profitable, the process industry must reinvent its production methods. Lower consumption of energy and other resources are an absolute necessity. VITO develops innovative technologies to support the industry in attaining their goals, by focusing on process intensification. VITO has state-of-the-art test infrastructure for water and organic solvents, at lab and pilot scale and conducts techno-economic feasibility studies.
50 To 90 % Lower Energy costs
Industrial processes often involve complex separation steps. On the one hand, VITO offers solutions for downstream processing in which target molecules are purified to a final product in successive steps. On the other hand, VITO works on the integration of separation and conversion. In each case, membranes are key to reducing energy costs. In comparison with conventional processes such as evaporation and distillation, membranes are much less energy-intensive, since separations generally take place at room temperature, without the different components undergoing a phase transition. Applying membrane technology, energy costs can be reduced by 50 to 90 %. Moreover, higher product quality is obtained for temperature-sensitive molecules. Also, the compactness and the possibility of scaling up a modular system are major industrial benefits of membranes.
Optimization with Vid Technology
Certain chemical reactions suffer from inhibition. When this takes place, high concentrations of substrate can lead to the formation of undesirable by products, with reduced yield and lower product quality as a result. Therefore these vulnerable reactions are often performed in a highly-diluted medium. Drawback is the need for large quantities of solvent and bulky reactors to create small amounts of a final product, for example 6 000 liters of solvent for only 50 kilograms of product. VITO’s patented VID technology (Volume Intensified Dilution) integrates membranes directly in the process, so that more product can be made with smaller reactors and less solvent. VID makes inhibited reactions much more efficient by reproducing a diluted reaction mixture in a smaller reaction vessel. Sending the reaction mixture over a membrane enables the solvent reuse. Some reactions benefit from efficiency increases of more than 80 %.
Cheaper with Funmem® Membranes
VITO developed with the UAntwerp a new generation of functional membranes with the patented FunMem® platform. It allows separations based on affinity, not just based on size. An interesting application is the removal of impurities from APIs. Another example is the separation of catalysts from the production process, enabling reuse. For example, VITO succeeded in recovering palladium, a widely used catalyst. Another example is chiral separation which currently happens with chromatography. This is expensive and time consuming, requires much solvent and is detrimental to the environment. VITO examines chiral separations using specific FunMem® membranes. A test case proved that membrane separation is economically viable if the right membranes are combined. It’s promising for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry.
RESINDION S.R.L. IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF ITS NEW PRODUCT: RELISORB™ EXE255N
Highly Porous Synthetic Adsorbent based on methacrylate matrix
- Natural and synthetic dyes removal and recovery
- Antibiotics recovery and purification
- Decolorization of sugar solutions
- Adsorption and purification of vitamins, enzymes, steroids and other substances from fermentation broth
- Adsorption of fatty acids
- Surfactants removal
- Main product features:
- Pore volume 1.0 mL/g min.
- Median pore radius 320 – 340 Å
- Specific surface area 450 m2/g min.
- Water retention 60-70 %
Resindion S.r.l. offers this product with two different particle size: M (200 - 500 µm) and XL (350 - 850 µm)
More details about this and other products on our web site:
TEMPERATURE CONTROL SPECIALIST LAUDA RECEIVES A SPECIAL PROJECT
LAUDA heating and cooling systems designs heat transfer systems for temperature control of liquid water up to 230 °C
LAUDA Heating and Cooling Systems has received a special type of order from Max-Planck-Institute of Plasma Physics. The Institute of Garching, which is engaged in the basic research for fusion power plants, plans for a future power plant to allow hydrogen atoms to fuse into helium - a similar process as produces solar energy. For the temperature control of tungsten bricks, which are needed as an energy absorber in diverters of fusion reactors, the temperature specialist LAUDA was commissioned to develop a heat transfer system for use at the ASDEX Upgrade [Axially Symmetric Diverter Experiment] experiment in Garching. The unusual thing about this system: The heat carrier used is fully de-ionized (DI) water, and the temperature range of the system is between 20 and 230 °C - which requires a resistance to high pressures. This requirement had to be carefully considered in the planning of all components in regard to materials and properties. A significant advantage of LAUDA heat transfer units of the ITH series lies in their modularity. The system consists of replaceable individual components such as radiators, circulation pumps, expansion tanks, and additional heat exchanger modules. For system, as an example, a tubular heat exchanger was used. The air flowing through the cylinder medium is at 20 °C here; the hot water flowing through the pipes is up to 230 °C. A further technical challenge was the need for the components to resist the high nominal pressure of PN 63. For example, the pump has to compensate for high pressure drops in the system at a lifting height of 175 meters at 20 °C. There are three different operating modes: The high pressure region works with 32 bar in the temperature range of 20 to 230 °C. Low pressure of 10 bar is possible in the range of 20 to 150 °C. Each circuit is monitored with various safety components. A third possibility is a cold-drive without pressure in the temperature range of 20 to 70 °C. This mode is necessary for filling of the system and for complete water deionization as well. The open communication between the Max-Planck-Institute and LAUDA was of particular importance, due to the specific technical requirements. An illustration of the complex system in 3D simplified communication enormously in terms of plant layout and future maintenance. Before delivery, the system was tested in the LAUDA test area in the presence of the customer. Included in the scope is the functional testing of all components and settings, heat carrier pressure and leakage tests, cabinet tests, and control accuracy. During the FAT (Factory Acceptance Test), a first test was carried out successfully, directly according to customer parameters.
EVONIK PREVAILS IN US PATENT LITIGATION AGAINST MATERIA INC.
Evonik Industries AG, Essen (Germany) with its Business Line Catalysts has won a seven years long patent litigation in a jury trial in the Federal District Court in Wilmington DE, USA against Materia Inc., Pasadena CA. After a 9-day trial, the jury confirmed the validity of Evonik’s US patent 7,378,528 directed to olefin metathesis catalysts containing NHC (N-heterocyclic carbene) ligands. The Court had earlier decided that 50 of Materia’s catalysts infringe Evonik’s ‘528 patent. The Court also held previously that Evonik’s catMETium® RF metathesis catalyst products do not infringe Materia’s US patent 7,622,590. Materia provided a worldwide covenant not to sue Evonik or its customers on any patent in Materia’s ‘590 family. The jury awarded Evonik over 1.5 Million US$ which will be supplemented with interest for the entire period and additional royalties for the most recent financial periods for Materia’s infringement. Evonik has been represented by ReedSmith LLP, Wilmington DE / USA.
Evonik with its Business Line Catalysts is a global leader in producing specialty catalysts, custom catalysts and catalysts components for the Life Sciences & Fine Chemicals, Industrial & Petrochemical and Polyolefines market segments.