Surface Enhanced Micro Optical Fluidic Systems

Plastic diagnostic lab-on-a-chip

Materials World magazine
A low-cost portable polymer tool that allows for quick diagnoses in remote environments is being developed by a group of European researchers. A key element to the system is microfluidic transport of the sample and reagents through various channels. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces help control the fluid flow and reduce unwanted protein adsorption.

Smart nanostructures to make chemical reactors more energy efficient

Materials World magazine
Nanostructured materials, tailored to respond to various stimuli, may form the basis of more energy efficient chemical reactors by regulating reactions, momentum, and heat and mass transfer inside the plants. A consortium of three UK universities, Leeds, Bath and Glasgow, is in the early stages of developing this nanotechnology from molecular metal oxides and polymers.
Aerial view of the Andrew production platform in the North Sea, UK

Microwave processing heats up oil drill cuttings

Materials World magazine
UK researchers aim to scale-up a microwave system to treat oil-contaminated waste from fossil fuel exploration on and offshore. The technology is said to be more energy efficient and cost effective than existing thermal desorption methods, as well as providing a small, portable and modular system suitable for in situ activity on offshore rigs.
Artist's impression of the facility

Capturing carbon from the air

Materials World magazine
Engineering a facility to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from ambient air could help in the battle against global warming. Professor David Keith of the University of Calgary, Canada, aims to enable absorption of CO2 emissions from sources such as aircraft and automotives.
Computer modelling atom by atom

Model behaviour of ceramics

Materials World magazine
Multi-scale mathematical and computer modelling could eliminate the existing ‘trial and error’ approach to sintering ceramic parts, say researchers at the University of Leicester, UK. This may help ensure the integrity and quality of components during manufacture, saving money and reducing waste.