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chemical and biomolecular engineering

cartoonish image shows a person holding a computer and looking up at a maze of paths that all lead to different glowing lights

Feb 15, 2024

Do AI-driven Chemistry Labs Actually Work? New Metrics Promise Answers

The idea of a self-driving lab is wonderful. But how well do they actually work? 

View of biopolymer film on left and microscopic view of the film on right.

Dec 11, 2023

Researchers Combine Biopolymers Derived From the Ocean to Replace Synthetic Plastic Films

Crustacean and seaweed materials combined in a unique way could provide a sustainable alternative to plastic films. 

illustration shows a robot conducting chemistry experiments in front of a high-tech machine

Nov 13, 2023

Autonomous Lab Discovers Best-in-Class Quantum Dot in Hours; It Would Have Taken Humans Years

A new autonomous system can identify how to synthesize “best-in-class” materials for specific applications in hours, rather than years. 

plastic fibers and debris float in blue ocean water with fish swimming nearby

Sep 14, 2023

Genetically Modified Bacteria Break Down Plastics in Saltwater

The modified organism breaks down a plastic called PET, which is a significant contributor to microplastic pollution in oceans. 

a metallic spider sits on a white table. the spider has a glowing LED on its head

Jul 5, 2023

Researchers Create Highly Conductive Metallic Gel for 3D Printing

The metallic gel is highly electrically conductive and can be used to print 3D solid objects at room temperature. 

image shows an electronic patch attached to the leaf of a tomato plant

Apr 12, 2023

Multifunctional Patch Offers Early Detection of Plant Diseases, Other Crop Threats

The patch can be applied to the leaves of plants to monitor crops for different pathogens – such as viral and fungal infections – and stresses such as drought or salinity. 

a robot with a computer brain moves brightly colored chemicals around a board

Mar 15, 2023

Self-Driven Laboratory, AlphaFlow, Speeds Chemical Discovery

The system has already found a more efficient (and previously unheard of) way to produce high-quality semiconductor nanocrystals. 

complex diagram showing all of the ways one can change the morphology of soft polymers

Mar 10, 2023

Some Stirring Required: Fluid Mixing Enables Scalable Manufacturing of Soft Polymer Structures

A new, scalable technique allows users to manufacture soft polymer materials in a dozen different structures, or morphologies. 

gloved hands stretch a silvery bag

Feb 3, 2023

Researchers Develop Elastic Material That Is Impervious to Gases and Liquids

Applications for the material include use as packaging for high-value technologies that require protection from gases, such as flexible batteries. 

An orange roundworm is silhouetted against a black backdrop. Bright yellow dots are scattered throughout the worm, but are concentrated in a central region of the worm's body.

Nov 1, 2022

New Technique Helps ID Genes Related to Aging

The work was done in an animal model, but has broader applications for research into the genetics of aging. 

A robot handles green liquid in Abolhasani's lab.

Sep 2, 2022

New AI Collaboration Aims to Accelerate R&D of Specialty Chemicals

Eastman and NC State’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will collaborate to accelerate the research and development of new specialty chemicals. 

neatly stacked rows of new tires (which are made of synthetic rubber, manufactured using butadiene)

Jul 27, 2022

New Catalyst Leads to More Efficient Butadiene Production

Butadiene is a building block in synthetic rubber and a variety of plastics. 

illustration shows the layout of a solar powered system that turns hydrogen-carrying liquid into hydrogen gas

May 23, 2022

New Tech Aims to Drive Down Costs of Hydrogen Fuel

The new tech for extracting hydrogen gas from liquid carriers is faster, less expensive than previous approaches. 

Image shows a network of green strands with red and blue highlights

May 4, 2022

Stem Cell-Derived Model Offers Insights on Gene Activity and Addiction

The work also offers a blueprint for related research moving forward. 

smoke stacks spew opaque gases into the blue sky

Apr 1, 2022

New Polymer Membrane Tech Improves Efficiency of CO2 Capture

New tech is more efficient at removing carbon dioxide from mixed gases, such as power plant emissions.