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EmpaNews 45 published28 July 2014
Focus: Future Mobility

Empa is in the midst of establishing the Future Mobility Demonstrator on ist Dübendorf campus. This ambitious Projekt should reveal how excess electricity, generated by solar and wind-power, can be converted to fuel in the most sensible way. After all, this could slash Switzerland's carbon dioxide emissions by over 4 million tons – which would match perfectly the Swiss contribution to the Kyoto protocol. Empa will evaluate methods to fuel electric vehicles, hydrogen powered vehicles as well as natural gas cars. Full article as pdf.


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Nano-coatings release almost no nano-particles30 June 2014
Silver in the washing machine

The antibacterial properties of silver-coated textiles are popular in the fields of sport and medicine. A team at Empa has now investigated how different silver coatings behave in the washing machine, and they have discovered something important: textiles with nano-coatings release fewer nano-particles into the washing water than those with normal coatings.
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Materials for the building industry20 June 2014
A shape-conscious alloy

When the frame of a pair of glasses is bent out of shape, it's not that easy to return it to its original form. If, however, your spectacles are made of a shape memory alloy then you don't have a problem. Just place the frame in hot water and bingo! – they're as good as new again. Empa researchers have now shown that these materials can also find applications in the building industry.
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Producing hydrogen with sunlight18 June 2014
Collecting light with artificial moth eyes

All over the world researchers are investigating solar cells which imitate plant photosynthesis, using sunlight and water to create synthetic fuels such as hydrogen. Empa researchers have developed such a photoelectrochemical cell, recreating a moth’s eye to drastically increase its light collecting efficiency. The cell is made of cheap raw materials – iron and tungsten oxide..
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