April 12th, 2022
Paper presents multiscale (nano-micro) FTIR analysis applied to the investigation of the chemical processes in Li-Air batteries
The growing demand for renewable energy sources underscores the urgency of developing new energy storage devices. One example is metal-air batteries, which could be the key to large-scale energy storage. This type of battery is a promising technology for commercial energy storage, as it offers about 10 times the energy density of Li-ion batteries, current market leaders.
April 11th, 2022
Paper presents microfabrication and characterization of a multifunctional device suitable for the combination of X-ray analytical techniques
Sirius, the synchrotron light source of the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials, organization under the supervision of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), is one of the most advanced in the world. Its experimental stations, called beamlines, are designed to house advanced instrumentation capable of taking full advantage of the synchrotron light produced by state-of-the-art electron accelerators. Hence, the CNPEM teams are also dedicated to the development of new sample environments that allow the investigation at the molecular and atomic scale of different types of organic and inorganic materials to solve major scientific and technological challenges.
April 5th, 2022
A prototype developed at CNPEM used sophisticated resources to assess device efficiency
Wearable sensors (wearables) are increasingly present in the lives of people who use electronic devices to monitor heart rate during physical activities, sleep quality, among many other sensitive standards for human health. Similar devices are being designed to use knowledge and technology to further monitor plant health in search of useful applications for precision agriculture.
April 1st, 2022
Research paves the way for the development of biological fungicides as an alternative to pesticides used to combat “pineapple sett rot disease”, one of the most frequent pests in sugarcane fields
The “pineapple sett rot” is a disease that affects several tropical crops around the world, but in Brazil it has a particular impact on the productivity of the sugar and ethanol sector. The fungus is capable of preventing seedlings from germinating or delaying their development, leaving the affected areas with large gaps. The microorganism usually penetrates the stem of plants through cuts or injuries caused during planting or mechanized harvesting. The incidence of the disease has increased in recent years and is already among the five most frequent pests of sugarcane.
As the fungus reproduces inside the plant, the stem fibers show an initial reddish color, which gradually becomes darker and covered with spores. The name of the disease is due to the main symptom of the fermentation generated by the fungus, the characteristic odor similar to that of pineapple essence.
Biotechnology has proved to be an important ally to sustainably face deleterious diseases like this, which impact productivity. Through the use of biomolecules, microorganisms and advanced techniques from several areas of engineering, biotechnology works to develop biocompatible alternatives to chemical fungicides, which cause various environmental and human health impacts.
March 15th, 2022
Superconductivity has the potential to revolutionize engineering and technology in lossless power transmission, more efficient electric motors, and other applications. These investigations have recently gained a new ally: Sirius.
Imagine a future with batteries that do not need to be charged, electric cars at more affordable prices, highly efficient electric motors and cheaper electric energy due to the ease of transmission and storage. Gaining a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of superconductivity is the key to this true technological revolution, which would have a potential impact on all types of electrical equipment.
This is because superconductivity is the property that allows certain materials to conduct electric current without resistance and, therefore, without loss of energy. In Brazil, about 7.5% of electrical energy is lost in transmission and distribution, as the materials in these systems dissipate part of the energy, for example, in the form of heat. Also, electric cars, even though they are much more efficient than common combustion-powered cars, still lose up to 15% of energy when charging batteries.
May 7th, 2021
CNPEM/MCTI researchers and collaborators investigate the confinement of long infrared waves in tin oxide nanobelts.
Infrared light is a band of the electromagnetic spectrum whose waves have lengths ranging from 750 nanometers to 100 microns. Three sub-bands can be defined within this spectral range, called near, medium and far infrared. Near infrared is routinely applied to remote controls, presence sensors and other metrology tools while medium infrared is explored in sensors and heat cameras. Finally, far infrared, commonly referred to as terahertz radiation because it is close to these frequencies, is used in non-destructive probes and gas spectrometers.
November 10th, 2020
Equipment improves the investigation of materials for fuel cells, batteries and electrolysers
Fossil fuels are the main source of energy in the world. However, the search for clean, renewable, and cheap energy sources has intensified recently, especially with the growing consensus that the rise in the average temperature of the planet is caused by human action. In this context, electrochemical devices, which involve reactions for the transformation of chemical energy into electrical energy, appear as a viable option to fossil fuels.
August 20th, 2020
Research reveals mechanisms of action of iron nanoparticles used in aquifer decontamination
Chlorinated hydrocarbons are among the most persistent contaminants in groundwater reserves – aquifers – worldwide. The problem is characteristic of industrialized regions, where substances were widely used, until the 1980s, as solvents, degreasers, in enamels for car painting and in dry cleaning, among other applications. Very small amounts of these pollutants are enough to make these waters unfit for human consumption, as they cause damage to the kidneys and liver, and cancer.
July 31st, 2020
Research explores wave-particle duality to accelerate light in a two-dimensional crystal using functional substrates
The understanding of light and its interaction with materials was, in the last century, an important way for scientific discoveries. A prominent example is the photoelectric effect: the emission of electrons by materials when subjected to the incidence of light at certain wavelengths. Wave theories already explained the behavior of light in many optical phenomena, but were not able to fully explain the characteristics of the photoelectric effect. The explanation for this phenomenon, as proposed by Einstein, required that the energy associated with light could only assume well-defined values, said to be discrete or quantized, that is, light should also have properties normally associated with particles.
June 30th, 2020
Research reveals new mechanisms and strategies to break plant polysaccharides and generate interesting by-products
Polysaccharides are molecules ubiquitous in nature, serving as a natural barrier for plants, energy sources for algae, and making up the cell wall of fungi. The deconstruction or modification of these polysaccharides is of great industrial interest, as in the textile and paper industry, as well as for the generation of biofuels and renewable chemical intermediates. Currently, the use of these polysaccharides in by-products of industrial interest requires the use of chemical reagents that generate environmental impacts or is carried out by industrial enzymes that are still not very efficient.