Graphene production could become a very attractive market for small- and medium-sized enterprises, according to Dr Amaia Zurutuza, scientific director of the graphene production company Graphenea, but it might take a while.
Pure graphene is impenetrable to even the smallest atoms but with a few adjustments it is giving rise to a new generation of permeable membranes, with possible applications from water filtration to reducing power station emissions.
Bacteria that survive in the world’s harshest conditions produce enzymes that could be perfect for use in industrial processes, thanks to their ability to withstand high temperatures, high pressure and high salt environments.
Political challenges rather than geological availability are what threatens the EU’s supply of raw materials, according to Dr Henrike Sievers from the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, who is working on a project to map all of Europe’s own mineral resources.
Magnets are at the heart of our love affair with tech, but they are currently made from hard-to-get components whose supply is under threat. Now, European scientists are developing replacements based on cutting-edge manufacturing processes and common elements.
Rare earth deposits found in Sweden, Finland, Greece and Spain suggest that Europe could reduce its reliance on imports of these critical raw materials, but the biggest challenge facing scientists is how best to extract and process them.
Researchers are developing techniques to study shale rocks under the pressure of two oceans using particle accelerators as Europe steps up research into shale gas.
New observations may provide alternative explanations for dark energy.
The technology could work with existing infrastructures, says Prof. Lee Cronin
We need to double-check the evidence on dark energy, as it may not exist at all, says Prof. Subir Sarkar.