Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 24th Sep 2006

Catalysts for Cleaner Environments and Future Energy

Catalytic Converter (c)  sandia national laboratories

Chemistry and lightning quick reactions are under discussion this week as Dr Emma Schofield from the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre explains what a catalyst is, how catalytic converters work and how catalysts can help to clean up the atmosphere, and Professor Fraser Armstrong from Oxford University, who discusses fuel cells, using hydrogen as a fuel, and how enzymes naturally found in bacteria are helping make hydrogen a more realistic energy source for the future. In Kitchen Science both guests are used as guinea pigs as Dave Ansell demonstrates the wonder of enzymes with nothing but a slice of bread...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

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  • How could an X-ray machine recharge a battery?

    On a recent trip to Sweden I noticed at the check in desk that my mobile battery was running low and was just about to turn off. As I went through airport security, my mobile was sent through the x-ray machine. When I next looked at my phone there was almost a full ...

  • Why don't muscle cells divide?

    I'm home schooling my son and we've been studying cell division. In one of the textbooks it - that specialised cells, such as muscle cells, don't divide. Why?

  • What happens to a balloon in a car if you break?

    Take a helium balloon and hold it on a piece of string inside a car. Watch what happens to the balloon when the car breaks - it moves backwards. So it goes the opposite way to other objects in the car. What's happening here?

  • Can you change your hair colour without chemicals?

    I'd like to know whether it's possible to change your hair colour without chemicals, such as with gene modification. It would save me a fortune! Are there any catalysts on the market that would catalyse a platinum blond colour?!

  • Why does melting ice cause sea level rise?

    I was curious about the scaremongering we're hearing about the ice caps melting and flooding everywhere. I thought the Archimedes' principle was that a body immersed in water, given that the majority of icebergs are immersed in water, when ...

  • Can we use water for fuel?

    Is there a lost formula for using water as our main fuel? Do you guys know anything about this?

  • Do calories adjust take into account how much food you absorb?

    Is the caloric content of food when it is stated on the packet the amount of energy given off when it's burned? Does it take into account the amount of energy a human can extract from it by digesting it with things like enzymes? If I were to eat two donuts at once, would ...



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