Researchers at the Ohio State University have discovered a novel catalyst for the reduction of nitric oxide (NO) using methane. NO emission has been linked to acid rain, urban smog that causes respiratory problems in humans, and has an adverse effect on the atmosphere and the ozone. As a result, EPA has imposed increasingly stringent regulations on NO emission, and demand for ways to reduce nitric oxide to an environmentally safe product has risen to a high level.
This invention allows the reduction of NO to harmless N2 gas cheaply by using methane as a reduction agent, and this process also has shown the much desired ability to reduce NO with high selectivity in the presence of relatively high concentrations of O2, H2O, and SO2, a quality that is not present in many other nitric oxide reduction processes.
Industrial pollution reduction
Able to reduce NO in the presence of high concentrations of O2, H2O, and SO2
OSU Researchers have developed a new method for the effective treatment of stormwater runoff pollutants using sediment filtration and adsorption, and biochemical processes under bi-phasic bioretention conditions. The method optimizes retention time of the runoff through the system and maximizes removal rates of runoff pollutants, resulting in more reliable and efficient treatment mechanisms than current systems.
Urban and suburban homeowners
Environmentally conscious individuals
Optimizes retention time of the runoff through the system
Silicon-based field effect transistor (FET) devices are building blocks of silicon-based digital, analog, and hybrid electronics. Often made of a metal-oxide-silicon (MOS) type structure, these devices are interconnected to generate so-called "complementary" MOSFET circuits, known as CMOS transistor circuitry. CMOS enjoys the benefits of low power and high speed operation, and advancements in these two properties have primarily been achieved through reduction of the channel length, which is now well into the submicron range for commercial devices. However, CMOS technology is approaching certain fundamental limits that will prohibit further miniaturization, likely due to the complex material formulations used. To overcome these limits, researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a novel Tunneling Field Effect Transistor (TFET) that will allow for further device miniaturization, reduced power, and increased speed beyond what is possible with current CMOS technology, while still enabling the use of well-established CMOS manufacturing processes.
Power-constrained military systems
Practically anywhere silicon-based electronics are used
Extends CMOS, enabling a new generation of device topologies while allowing the use of current manufacturing processes
Faster turn-on at lower voltages than competing TFET designs
Steep sub-threshold slopes (below 60mV/decade)
Less current leakage in the "off" state compared to competing TFET designs
Higher current densities in the "on" state compared to competing TFET designs
Hydrogen has been touted as the fuel of the future and PEM fuel cells have garnered much attention for mobile applications. However, PEM fuel cells need very pure hydrogen streams since even very low CO concentrations can poison the catalysts used in the anode. In order to use hydrogen streams to power fuel cells, CO concentrations must be reduced to < 10 ppm. To achieve this requirement, a catalyst able to selectively oxidize CO to CO2 with extremely high selectivity has been developed. Additionally, in lean conditions at GHSV = 20,000h-1, this catalyst was able to obtain complete conversion 600ppm CO at room temperature and also obtained 100% conversion of much higher CO concentrations (1.5%) in lean conditions at a low temperature as low as 135 C. This catalyst has great potential to be used for CO removal from H2 streams, removal of CO from lean exhaust, and removal of CO from enclosed areas such as underground coal mines.
Clean-up of hydrogen rich streams for use in PEM fuel cells applications
Catalytic after-treatment in order to remove CO from combustion processes (coal power plants, lean burning natural gas engines, diesel engines, etc.)
Coal mines, submarines, furnaces, space vehicles, and other enclosed air spaces that people breath
High oxygen selectivity of oxidation of CO to CO2 as opposed to H2 reacting to form H2O, making the use of PEM fuel cells more viable, since the parasitic loss of H2 will be low
High activity in the temperature range of interest needed for PEM fuel cells (50-200 C)
This catalyst is relatively inexpensive as compared to other oxidation catalysts because it does not use precious metals such as platinum or gold
CO can be readily removed from combustion exhaust in lean-burn conditions over essentially the entire temperature range that would be encountered
While proteins and enzymes often have industrial and therapeutic applications, some are only marginally stable. Researchers at Ohio State University have developed a method for determining the thermal stability of hundreds of protein variants at a time, quickly and inexpensively. The method does not require the protein to have measurable activity and the procedure used gives a very broad scope. Thus large proteins and enzymes can be screened for activity before further tests are done.
Researchers at the Ohio State University have isolated a pure bacterial culture, designated herein as M91-3, which rapidly degrades certain s-triazines, particularly halogenated s-triazines. S-triazines are compounds are a family of herbicides that is extensively used for weed control in corn and other crops, but the widespread use of s-triazines has resulted in contamination of water resources above safe levels. S-triazine has been targeted for removal at sites that exceed EPA guidelines, but traditional methods of treatment involve either spreading thin layer of contaminated soil on top of a large area of healthy soil, which limits the use of the existing healthy soil, or costly excavation and incineration of contaminated soil. As a result, an inexpensive and fast method of safely degrading s-triazines in-situ is highly desirable.
The M91-3 degrades s-triazines, particularly atrazine, beyond the point of ring cleavage, leading to complete mineralization of the atrazine. The ability of M91-3 to completely degrade atrazine appears to be unique among bacteria. The M91-3 is capable of degrading s-triazine in solution and in presence of soil or sediment. The invention also relates to a method for degrading s-triazines, particularly atrazine.
Lithium ion batteries, commonly found in today’s mobile devices, are poised to play a major role in serving our future energy needs. While current batteries are suitable for mobile phones and laptops, their energies and power densities are insufficient for more demanding applications such as transportation and mass energy storage. The major limiting factor in lithium ion battery performance is in the cathode material, and various materials have been identified that offer large capacity, low cost, chemical stability, and environmental friendliness. Unfortunately, these materials also suffer from very poor electrical conductivity. Much research has focused on forming composites of these materials with different kinds of carbons, conductive polymers, metals, and oxides in order to alleviate this issue, with little success. Researchers at The Ohio State University have developed composites of these materials with graphene (planar atomic sheets of graphite) that exhibit excellent electrical conductivity while maintaining the beneficial properties noted above. The researchers have developed one type of graphene composite that boosted the electrical conductivity (compared to the material alone) by eight orders of magnitude. Amazingly, in this case graphene only makes up 3.6% of the composite by weight! Other material systems and methods of manufacture have been developed, and continue to be investigated, that could yield even more impressive results.
High density energy storage for alternative energy sources
Transportation (e.g. hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles)
Mobile devices (enables much longer life and better performance with a smaller battery)
A major breakthrough in the quest for high performance lithium ion batteries with large energy densities
Enables an environmentally friendly cathode material that exhibits large capacity, low cost, chemical stability, and high electrical conductivity
In one test, adding as little as 3.6% graphene by weight boosted the electrical conductivity of a material by eight orders of magnitude
Low carbon content in electrodes due to the use of graphene (3.6% by weight) results in enhanced overall gravimetric and volumetric capacities
Exhibits superior rate capability, maintaining ~70% capacity at 20 C
OSU researchers have synthesized crosslinked polymer membranes with amino groups incorporated which showed: 1) high carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide permeabilities; 2) high selectivities of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide vs. hydrogen; and 3) high selectivity of carbon dioxide vs. nitrogen. The applications for this technology are for purification of hydrogen and biogas for energy and other purposes and for the removal of carbon dioxide from flue gas containing nitrogen. For carbon dioxide removal, the membrane process combines absorption and desorption, which are generally carried out in two separate steps in the current technologies. Combining these steps allows for the energy savings and elimination of expensive equipment, the pumping of solution between the absorber and desorber and the need to continually adjust the pressure.
Gas purification, particularly hydrogen (fuel cells) and bio gases
Elimination of carbon dioxide from flue gas
Higher selectivity than current technologies
Selectivity for multiple gases
Shortens the carbon dioxide removal process and saves resources
Allows for less manipulation of the gases to be separated
Researchers at the Ohio State University’s ElectroScience Laboratory have been able to use simple (printed on uniform substrates) microwave circuit components to emulate the extraordinary propagation phenomena traditionally encountered in photonic crystals and metamaterials. These materials have been shown to exhibit unique and useful properties for microwave and optics applications such as delay lines, couplers, and antennas. One class of these structures demonstrated significant wave slowdown and amplitude increase within a small region, leading to miniaturization of antennas and other microwave circuit components. Another important property of metamaterials that has attracted significant research interest is the realization of a negative index of refraction. As the latter are difficult and expensive to manufacture, the proposed technology provides a practical approach to realize such unique properties. The researchers have already been able to realize these extraordinary properties using uniquely invented, cost effective, and easy to manufacture microstrip transmission lines arrangements.
Enables easy and inexpensive miniaturization of microwave and optical circuit components such as coupled lines, delay elements, phase shifters, printed antennas, antenna arrays, and solid state semiconductor optoelectronic devices
Enjoys the benefits derived from photonic crystals and metamaterials at a fraction of the cost
Enables a boost in gain while maintaining the same size dimensions
Compared to photonic crystals and metamaterials, this structure is much more cost effective and easier to manufacture, while exhibiting similar properties
Easy to retrofit with existing manufacturing processes and manufacture in volume since it is based on printed circuit technology
Solid calcium phosphate materials are used for in-situ immobilization of lead contaminated soils, wastes, and sediments by mixing the solid calcium phosphate material with the lead contaminated material and leaving the mixture in place. The solid calcium phosphate material includes, for example, naturally occurring apatite, synthetic hydroxyapatite, dibasic calcium phosphate, or phosphate rock.
After treatment with solid calcium phosphate materials, lead concentrations in contaminated water and soil were reduced from as high as 2405 µmol L-1 to below the EPA Pb2+ action level of 72.4 nmol/L.
Cleanup of lead contaminated water, soils, and waste water