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Physics and chemistry (12)

Porous materials make it possible to have nanotechnology under control

A University of Cordoba research team is able to stabilize different metallic nanostructures by encapsulating them in porous monocrystalline materials

Half metal, half organic structure, like Robocop himself, is the material known as MOF, short for Metal Organic Framework. MOF has been developed by scientists and applied to a myriad of products from sorbents to batteries for electronic devices. This material emerged from the nanotechnology revolution that turned material design upside down and facilitated the improvement of chemical processes. MOFs are a new organic and inorganic hybrid material made up of metallic nodes and organic links characterized by their porosity, that is to say, by the intermolecular spaces that it is comprised of. 

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Artificial intelligence combats the noise from diesel engines

Several University of Cordoba research teams have created a new system to predict the sound from these engines depending on the chemical physical composition of the biofuel
For years now, diesel engines have been one of the greatest competitors in the car industry. In spite of their advantages such as durability and affordability, one of their weaknesses continues to be the noise they produce. Now, a new model, designed by several University of Cordoba research groups, allows for predicting this noise depending on the chemical physical composition of the biofuel that powers the engine.

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A tool based on the use ofcarbon nanoparticles enables detection of antidepressants in urine samples

The test can be used to monitor therapeutic dosages, for cases of intoxication due to overdose or at a forensic level

A University of Cordoba research group has designed a tool that enables detection of antidepressants in urine samples in low concentrations. This new method is based on the developmentof a new material, based on carbon nanotubes, on the inside of pipette tips, the kinds that are normally used in analysis laboratories.

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Researchers analyse the effect of C02pressure on the aroma of sparkling wines

An UCO research team is studying the effect of carbon dioxide pressure on yeast metabolism during the second fermentation of sparkling wines

During alcoholic fermentation, yeasts turn sugar into ethanol and CO2gas. The gas forms the small bubbles which distinguish sparkling wines from “still” wines. High-quality sparkling wines are made using the traditional method, which requires a second alcoholic fermentation of a base wine – to which sugar and yeasts are added – in sealed bottles, followed by an interval of ageing in contact with yeast lees. This method was first described by the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pèrignon (1638-1715). When sugar is added to a wine and a second fermentation is carried out in an open container, the C02 produced is released into the atmosphere; however, when the second fermentation is carried out in a sealed container or bottle, the CO2overpressure released affects yeast metabolism. 

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How smelly is your rubbish?

A new method is being developed to assess the odorous impact of composting
According to some estimates, every year over 8,000 million tonnes of urban waste are generated worldwide, and there is every reason to believe that this figure will increase over the coming years due to population growth. One process that seeks to find a use for part of this huge amount of waste is composting, by which organic waste is converted into fertiliser.

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Improved perovskite stability for third-generation solar cells

Research at the University of Córdoba, published in Nature Energy, has led to the stabilisation of perovskite solar cells using guanidinium. 

Increasing concern regarding the exhaustion of traditional energy sources has triggered a race to find alternatives. The development of solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity, is constantly advancing.

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A new technique uses wheat straw to replace plastic components in lithium batteries

An UCO research group has proved that lignin could be used as an environmentally-sustainable, low-cost component in lithium batteries 

Wheat straw could be turned into a component for lithium batteries, according to a study by a University of Córdoba research group coordinated by Alejandro Rodríguez Pascual, a lecturer at the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The team has succeeded in replacing toxic lithium-battery components by lignins, natural substances found in plant cell walls, including in wheat straw. 

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Scientists develop a new catalyst using glycerol produced during biodiesel manufacture

The process uses a microwave heating technique

Due to its environmental benefits, the production of biodiesel as an alternative to fossil fuels has expanded exponentially over the last few years. Glycerol is among the by-products of the manufacturing process; for every ton of biodiesel produced, the process generates 100 kg of glycerol. Unfortunately, however, glycerol has few direct uses, since it contains high levels of impurities.

 

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Research reveals the efficacy of a new antibiotic active against pneumonia

A research group at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Córdoba, has studied the effects of rhodomyrtone on pneumococcal strains. 

The emergence of antibiotic resistance in some of the most common pathogenic bacteria affecting humans has become a healthcare problem worldwide. Due to natural selection, the mere use of antibiotics against a pathogenic bacterial species eventually prompts them to develop resistance to those antibiotics.

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Development of an easy-to-use eco-friendly fluorescent enzyme detection platform

The platform, developed by a research group at the University of Córdoba Department of Analytical Chemistry, has been tested measuring laccase enzyme concentrations in various shampoo samples.

Enzymes are amongst the most widely-used biocatalysts, applicable – thanks to their broad range of properties – in a whole range of fields. There is thus a need for efficient enzyme detection methods.

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