'Goldilocks Zone' may go colder than previously thought

(PhysOrg.com) -- The survival of life on Earth is possible only within a relatively narrow temperature range known as the "Goldilocks Zone," which ranges from around 0 to 100°C. In many ecosystems life is limited by cold ...

Niobium used as catalyst in fuel cell

Brazil is the world's largest producer of niobium and holds about 98 percent of the active reserves on the planet. This chemical element is used in metal alloys, especially high-strength steel, and in an almost unlimited ...

LEGO toy helps researchers learn what happens on nanoscale

Johns Hopkins engineers are using a popular children's toy to visualize the behavior of particles, cells and molecules in environments too small to see with the naked eye. These researchers are arranging little LEGO pieces ...

Yeast uses CO2 to boost bioethanol production

Introducing four genes from bacteria and spinach has enabled researchers at the Delft University of Technology to improve the production of bioethanol with yeast by using carbon dioxide. Their findings were published last ...

Alaskan wood frogs stock up on solutes to survive

Outwardly, the tiny wood frog, Rana sylvatica, does not look like your regular arctic inhabitant. Yet despite their tiny stature, these little frogs are actually quite hardy and can tolerate freezing of up to two-thirds of ...

Bioplastic – greener than ever

Polylactic acid is a degradable plastic used mostly for packaging. To meet the rising demand, ETH researchers have developed an eco-friendly process to make large amounts of lactic acid from glycerol, a waste by-product in ...

New, fossil-fuel-free process makes biodiesel sustainable

A new fuel-cell concept, developed by an Michigan State University researcher, will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production ...

The buzz around beer

Ever wondered why flies are attracted to beer? Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside have, and offer an explanation. They report that flies sense glycerol, a sweet-tasting compound that yeasts make during ...

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Glycerol

Glycerol (or glycerin, glycerine) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides. Glycerol is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity.

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