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On December 10, Danny Shechtman, an Ames Laboratory and Iowa State Unversity scientist, was presented the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals. Shechtman, who is also a researcher at Technion in Israel, made his discovery in 1982 by identifying a material that had an "impossible" five-fold symmetry to its crystalline structure. To find out more about Shechtman's discovery, his Nobel Prize selection, and Ames Lab's involvement in quasicrystal research, click on Read More.
Mechanochemistry may lead to non-equilibrium dehydrogenation reactions, yet to the best of our knowledge, no attempts to quantify this effect have been made in the past. In order to assess how far away from thermodynamic equilibrium this may occur, mixed hydride systems containing MNH2 (M = Li, Na) and CaH2 taken in different molar ratios have been investigated both experimentally and theoretically.
Earlier, we showed that hydrogen can be readily obtained during ball milling of MAlH4—MNH2 (1:1 molar) systems with M = Li or Na. Here, mechanochemical proceed in two steps as shown in in the figure below. The final products of these solid-state transformations at ambient temperature are AlN, MH and H2, see the overall mechanochemical transformation.
The U.S. Department of Energy will fund two additional cutting-edge research projects at the Ames Laboratory through its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy's (ARPA-E) Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies (REACT) program. The project are aimed at replacing rare-earths in magnets used for wind turbines and electric vehicles.