The best of 2014

Platinum

A moly sulfide nanocluster on a graphite surface form the electrode that allows it to form...

Chemical engineers have found a 30-year-old recipe that stands to make future hydrogen production cheaper and greener. The recipe has led researchers to a way to liberate hydrogen from water via electrolysis using molybdenum sulfide – moly sulfide for short – as the catalyst in place of the expensive metal platinum.  Read More

Regular catalytic converters like this one may be on their way to obsolescence (Image: Shu...

By helping to minimize the hydrocarbons and other pollutants that are emitted in a car's exhaust, catalytic converters serve an important purpose. Because they contain precious metals such as platinum, however, they can also be expensive. Now, a British scientist has developed a new type of converter that should be cheaper, longer-lasting and more effective, plus it should boost the vehicle's fuel efficiency.  Read More

The Sphere 2 is a high-end computer mouse made of surgical grade stainless steel with eith...

We've seen quite a few gadgets made out of gold throughout the years. From a gold-plated USB flash drive to a 24 carat Gold- and Platinum-leafed Aston Martin DB7, gold has long been a symbol of class and a way to add a little flash to what might otherwise be an ordinary gadget. Now we can add computer mice to that long list of fancy gold items, with the new Sphere 2 by Ore Object. The mouse is made of surgical grade stainless steel with either a titanium, gold, or platinum finish. Both stain and dirt resistant, the mouse's surface repels germs, and can be easily sanitized if necessary.  Read More

'Blue Ocean' by Grieb & Benzinger

We have covered luxury watches many times on Gizmag and it's often a little problematic. The marketing spiel from the manufacturers is always in that strange flowery language that's designed to appeal to those for whom the primary concern is not cost. However, every now and then along comes a series of watches that seem to truly justify their price tag in terms of provenance, style and sheer craftsmanship. The extraordinary "Blue Ocean" and the Platinum Collection from which it comes is just such a line.  Read More

Palladium electron shell (Image: Pumbaa via Wikimedia, CC 2.0)

Japanese researchers have used nanotechnology to develop a process which resembles something out of a 16th Century alchemy textbook. Although not producing gold, as was the aim of the alchemists, the scientists have discovered a technique that allows otherwise inert elements to be combined to form new intermediate alloy-elements. So far, an alloy of palladium has been created by mixing silver and rhodium together.  Read More

A thin-film solid-oxide fuel cell developed at Harvard (Photo: Shriram Ramanathan)

Reliable, affordable fuel cells have come not one but three steps closer to reality this week, with announcements from two research institutions regarding advances in the field. If the reported developments make their way into production, we could be seeing fuel cells that use more abundant, less expensive fuels and building materials, that are more consistent in their electricity production, and that have a lower operating temperature.  Read More

The multi-metallic nanoparticle created for fuel-cell reactions uses a palladium core and ...

The most obvious obstacles for the widespread adoption of fuel cell technology are cost and performance. Although they promise benefits over internal combustion engines and batteries in terms of environmental impact, they are still fairly limited in use for these reasons. One of the most expensive elements used in most fuel cells is platinum, but now researchers have created a unique core and shell nanoparticle that uses far less platinum, yet performs more efficiently and lasts longer than commercially available pure-platinum catalysts at the cathode end of fuel cell reactions.  Read More

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