News: Complex Materials and Processing

Princeton researchers have developed a new way to make fuel from cellulose—Earth's most abundant organic compound, found in all plant cells—speeding up a notoriously slow chemical process and in some cases doubling energy yields over comparable methods.
The Schmidt Science Fellows named Kurt Ristroph to its 2021 cohort of researchers, providing him with up to two years of training and a $100,000 annual stipend as he turns nanoparticle formulations he developed for global health applications to the growing problem of food security.
A new device that purifies water relying only on sunlight could help produce clean drinking water at low cost and little environmental impact. When placed in contaminated water, the gel soaks up only pure water, leaving contaminants behind. When sunlight warms the gel, it change shapes and expels the water for collection.