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Home > News > Metal-fungus hybrids make for more powerful catalysts

September 24th, 2008

Metal-fungus hybrids make for more powerful catalysts

Abstract:
It brings a new meaning to the phrase organic chemistry. Chemists have discovered that fungi can naturally absorb microscopic metal particles into their flesh in a way that could see metallic fungus used as catalysts or disinfectants.

Industrial catalysts often rely on processes that happen on the surface of metals, so tiny nanoparticles of catalyst with large surface-area-to-volume ratios are particularly effective. But such particles are only effective if they are prevented from clumping together using a chemical solution, which makes it difficult to separate the catalyst from the products of a reaction.

Now Alexander Eychmüller's team at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany has discovered that fungi can assimilate and stabilise nanoparticles as they grow. Because the nanoparticles are immobilised on fungal filaments, they can be easily recovered later.

Source:
technology.newscientist.com

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