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Dr. Kyeongjae Cho, study leader  (Source: UT Dallas)
Mullite replaces platinum, a precious metal that is expensive to mine and limited in supply

University of Texas at Dallas scientists found that a material called mullite, which is from a family of oxides, could replace platinum on diesel exhaust from automotives.

Platinum has been the go-to material for diesel vehicles because diesel exhaust emits more nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxode than gasoline vehicles (however, diesel engines are generally more efficient). To reduce the amount of these pollutants from diesel exhaust, platinum is commonly used. 

The problem is that platinum is a precious metal, mainly because it is limited and very expensive to mine. For 10 tons of platinum ore mined, only 1 ounce is usually usable.

Another issue was that diesel engine exhaust was recently added to the World Health Organization's list of items that are carcinogenic in humans. Hence, finding an alternative that could clean diesel exhaust up further was pretty important.

Enter Dr. Kyeongjae Cho, study leader and professor of materials science and engineering and physics at UT Dallas. He and a team of researchers set out to find the alternative, and discovered that mullite was exactly what the doctor ordered.

After synthesizing mullite and using computer models to see how it consumes nitric oxide/nitrogen dioxode, it was discovered that an oxygen-based composition of mullite is not only cheaper to produce than platinum, but it also reduces diesel exhaust pollution 45 percent more than platinum.

"Our goal to move completely away from precious metals and replace them with oxides that can be seen commonly in the environment has been achieved," said Cho. "We've found new possibilities to create renewable, clean energy technology by designing new functional materials without being limited by the supply of precious metals."

This new mullite discovery is already being commercialized as Noxicat.

Source: University of Texas at Dallas



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RE: Dontcha Wonder...
By Ammohunt on 8/20/2012 11:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
Hardly, lately the Supreme Court and other federal courts have been used to pretty much write law; that as you know that was never their intended purpose. Already the Supreme Court votes along party lines with the exception of justice Kennedy who seems to vote with which way the wind blows on that given day; I question the idea of check and balances with a supreme court setup this way. That being said I believe that Chief justice Roberts feels the same and this is his vain attempt to remove the artificial power of the Supreme Court. If the bill stands the constitutional test and then is later repealed then its dead for all eternity and congress has done its job. If the Supreme Court nullified the bill then we would have years of partisan bickering about how it should be implemented properly to pass the constitutional test. Considering what a massive expansion of the nanny state the bill causes and the complete erosion of rights I think he felt it was a worthwhile gamble considering that it is still quite possible to bring up other aspects of this bill at a later date for scrutiny by the supreme court if it doesn’t get repealed in the mean time. Such as the mandatory birth control provisions that religious organizations are complaining about now which is clearly a violation of the 1st amendment. Thats just a few of the issues with the bill we know about Chief Justice Roberts may have found something else in the bill that will not stand the constitutional test and is just waiting for someone to find that golden nugget.


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