Paper’s Brighter Future
The use of chlorine for bleaching and processing wood pulp to make paper is one of industry’s dirtiest environmental practices, producing various highly toxic pollutants, including dioxin. Cleaner methods are available but chlorine has several big advantages; it’s cheap and it works well. Now a chemist at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has developed a family of iron-based catalysts that could make one of the leading chlorine alternatives-hydrogen peroxide-more commercially attractive.
Small amounts of the catalysts, called TAML (tetraamido-macrocyclic ligand activators), greatly speed up the hydrogen peroxide bleaching process and allow it to take place at 50 C or even room temperature. What’s more, the catalysts make hydrogen peroxide far more effective in “delignification,” a key step for making high-quality paper. Terrence Collins, a chemist at CMU and developer of the technology, says industry is already testing the peroxide activators; he expects that the technology will be ready for commercial papermaking within three years.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.