Chemists with enzyme envy. Chemists use plant models to design a new catalyst.

“Through photosynthesis, plants and some bacteria use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into useful organic chemicals.

Now researchers have developed a catalyst that can turn CO2 into ethanol and propanol when operating at voltages that solar cells could provide (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2017, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1711493114).
This process of powering chemical synthesis via solar power, called artificial photosynthesis, could enable carbon-neutral fuels. In such a system, every molecule of CO2 emitted when a fuel is burned could be captured to make another fuel molecule. But developing catalysts that can recycle CO2 is challenging, says Peidong Yang, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley.”

Using catalysts based on iron, copper, indium, and other metals, researchers have successfully transformed CO2 into single-carbon compounds, including carbon monoxide, formate, and methanol. Making multicarbon compounds directly has proved more difficult.

The team discovered this better catalyst by systematically studying the performance of different densities of copper nanoparticles on support structures made of various materials. Graduate student Dohyung Kim found the best catalytic performance when he covered carbon paper with about 45 µg of the copper particles per square centimeter of the paper.

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Despite these fastidious efforts, Yang says the researchers are not yet sure why the catalyst works so well. The researchers observed that after seven minutes under reaction conditions, the spherical nanoparticles fuse into larger cubic ones, with an interface between copper, copper oxide, and carbon from the paper. The group is still investigating the mechanism, but they believe this interface is key to the structure’s catalytic activity. “We’ve finally identified a key active interface to produce two- and three-carbon compounds,” Yang says.

Article Link


The role of nano units in helping to learn more about tattoo ink and tattoo removal

What was I thinking? Science helps out.

“Nanoparticles from tattoos circulate inside the body, study finds”

Learn more about the movement of tattoo ink from skin to lymph nodes

Florida Official Goes Metric

Florida is the first state in the US to adopt the metric system.  This will bring the state into alignment with other international jurisdictions that use the SI.  Way to go Floridians!

“The metric system will become mandatory for field events at all Florida high school meets beginning in 2018. Proponents say this will simply bring the state in line with the rest of the track world. The Olympics and other international competitions at the junior and senior levels measure jumping and throwing events using the metric system. So do collegiate and professional meets in the United States.”

Read all about it in the NYT

Welcome to Moscrop Chemistry

Thanks for stopping by! Welcome to another exciting year learning of learning. I am looking forward to being your teacher and helping you to become the best Chemistry Student ever!

Let’s get started!

Student access to online locker sign up begins at 2:00 pm on Tuesday September 5, 2017.  Grade 12 students have private lockers.  Grade 11 students will be sharing a locker.

Learn more about Canada’s metal (It is Canada’s 150 – the fun continues)***

Crystal Growing Competetion starts in October 2017 – Sign up and gather your supplies












The National Crystal Growing Competition Handbook – a must read for serious contenders!***

Great Links to explore:




Textbook Return Time!

Please remember to bring along to class your chemistry textbooks!

Textbooks will be collected during class time.  Thanks!

Learn more about the world’s oldest battery. It has lasted for over 150 years

The Claredon Battery is the world’s longest operating battery.

No one is sure how it works – but it keeps on ticking!

Spongy Metal energises lithium-oxygen batteries


Learn more about how an ultra light nickel cathode can boost performance and lifetime of a battery!

See more information about Nickel Batteries


Learn more about the challenges of designing better (longer lasting/greater stability) batteries