A study scheduled for publication in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Chemical Societys journal, Environmental Science and Technology, shows that for the first time, toxic metals emitted from automotive catalytic converters have been detected in urban air in the United States. The research was done by Swedish scientists working in collaboration with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The researchers found high concentrations of platinum, palladium, rhodium and osmium in air over the Boston metropolitan area. Although these particles — known as platinum group elements — are not yet considered a serious health risk, evidence suggests they potentially could pose a future danger as worldwide car sales increase from an estimated 50 million in 2000 to more than 140 million in 2050.
Finding ways to "stabilize" these metal particles within the converters "should be a priority to limit their potential impact," says lead researcher Sebastien Rauch, Ph.D., of Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg. In addition to the United States — where catalytic converters were first introduced — scientists have also detected elevated concentrations of these elements in Europe, Japan, Australia, Ghana, China and Greenland. Catalytic converters reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
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New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
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Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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