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Catalyzing Commercialization: Membrane-Based Technologies Treat Produced Water from Oil and Gas Operations

During oil and gas production, about 7–10 barrels of polluted water are recovered for each barrel of oil produced. The amount of produced water depends on the geology of the formation and the type of reservoir. With a global oil production rate of 100 million bbl/day, the volumetric production rate of produced water is massive.

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Catalyzing Commercialization: Tiny Optical Fiber Sensors Offer Continuous, In situ Measurement of Humidity

Humidity is a very important parameter to monitor and control when drying food products, pulp and paper products, chemicals, and other semi-moist, porous materials. It can impact drying optimization and, ultimately, product shelf life. However, humidity sensors can be unrealiable, especially when used in large industrial ovens that dry, bake, or de-water materials. Accuracy and precision, along with durability and size, are all important factors for successful automated humidity sensing.

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Catalyzing Commercialization: Researchers Develop Rapid, Low-Cost Norovirus Detection Platform

A little bit of norovirus — the highly infectious microbe that causes about 20 million cases of food poisoning in the U.S. each year — goes a long way. Just 10 particles of the virus can cause illness in humans. While norovirus is often associated with cruise ships, it can also spread quickly through a community via its water supply. Norovirus causes about 200,000 deaths globally each year.

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Catalyzing Commercialization: Establishing a Reference Cell Culture Platform for Biomanufacturing

The biopharmaceutical industry has emerged as a major manufacturing engine of the U.S. economy. With new biological information brought about through technology innovation and data acquisition, ample opportunities exist to improve biomanufacturing efficiencies.

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Catalyzing Commercialization: Creating Novel Bimetallic Catalysts for Methanol Fuel Cells

Improvements in direct-methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have been achieved at the Univ. of South Carolina based on a new, easy-to-scale method to synthesize bimetallic catalysts. The two most common types of fuel cells being developed for mobile transportation applications are DMFCs and hydrogen fuel cells. Methanol is safer than hydrogen, and it is easier to handle and install in refueling stations. Whereas a monometallic platinum (Pt) catalyst may be used for H2 fuel cells, a more-expensive bimetallic catalyst — typically consisting of Pt and ruthenium (Ru) — is required for DMFCs.

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