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  • Biomolecular condensates can contain multiple phases. The number of droplets of each phase and their location give the condensate a certain architecture. Here the authors present a method to create a range of transient architectures in biomolecular condensates, making the architecture or interfacial area controllable design variables in experiments.

    • Nadia A. Erkamp
    • Madelief A. M. Verwiel
    • Tuomas P. J. Knowles
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The adsorptive separation of olefin–paraffin mixtures requires the development of robust adsorbents with high selectivity and adsorption capacity. Here the authors develop a physiosorbent featuring surface sieving carbon skins several nanometers in thickness, with molecular-selective pores centered at 3.6 Å, for separation of C3H6 and C3H8 with high dynamic selectivity.

    • Li-Ping Guo
    • Ru-Shuai Liu
    • An-Hui Lu
  • Tandem CO2 electrolysis has demonstrated strong potential for transforming captured CO2 into multicarbon products, but more effort is needed in scaling these systems to commercial levels. The authors address this crucial need by elevating tandem CO2 electrolysis to the kilowatt scale, marking a significant step toward real-world implementation.

    • Bradie S. Crandall
    • Byung Hee Ko
    • Feng Jiao
  • With the global climate crisis, approaches to capture emissions are critical, with the heavy industry sector being particularly challenging to decarbonize. The authors describe a new enzyme cascade for converting industrial emissions into formate salts as a hydrogen carrier or building block for chemicals.

    • Jinhee Lee
    • Suk Min Kim
    • Yong Hwan Kim
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The design of CO2 electrolyzers is complicated by coupled transport and reaction phenomena. Here the authors develop a continuum model incorporating physical phenomena across multiple scales to predict the activity and selectivity of CO2 electrolysis, along with the loss of CO2 due to crossover in membrane electrode assemblies.

    • Eric W. Lees
    • Justin C. Bui
    • Adam Z. Weber
  • Achieving a net-zero future requires that hard-to-abate sectors be addressed. Co-production offers an opportunity to mitigate chemical and steel sector emissions by extracting H2 and CO from steelmaking off-gas and using them for chemical syntheses. The authors examine carbon mitigation and costs of co-producing chemicals and steel in China.

    • Yang Guo
    • Jieyi Lu
    • Denise L. Mauzerall
  • Real-life plastic waste exists as complex mixtures, posing a challenge for efficient upcycling. Now a sunlight-powered thermocatalytic process using a Ni-based catalyst converts a plastic mixture into CH4, H2O and HCl. Notably, chlorine poisoning is minimized through temperature modulation driven by the diurnal sunlight cycle.

    • Meng Wang
    • Yongjun Gao
    • Ding Ma
  • It is essential to develop new dressing designs for wounds that can maintain ideal thermal comfort even under high temperatures in outdoor conditions. Now, a daytime radiative cooling dressing based on a polyamide 6/silk fibroin bilayer is demonstrated to accelerate wound healing by reducing the thermal load for skin wounds under sunlight illumination.

    • Qian Zhang
    • Chao Qi
    • Jia Zhu
  • The recovery of gold and platinum group metals from sources like electronic waste, catalytic converter waste and mining streams remains challenging. Now, an electrochemically mediated liquid–liquid extraction process leverages the selectivity of redox-active extractants for the selective recovery of precious and critical metals including gold and platinum group metals from diverse feedstocks.

    • Stephen R. Cotty
    • Aderiyike Faniyan
    • Xiao Su
  • Positively charged anodes should short circuit when they are brought into contact with a cathode. The authors demonstrate that a liquid-metal anode can naturally flow toward the cathode, completely surround it and ultimately transfer to the cathode without short circuiting in an electrochemical cell.

    • Yahua He
    • Jing You
    • Xiaolin Wang
  • Quantifying the strength of noncovalent interactions in supramolecular host–guest systems is key to guiding molecular design for a desired application. Now, a quantitative relationship between noncovalent interactions and electrochemistry is established that provides a new dimension for investigations into noncovalent interactions and enables the control of electrochemical properties in battery engineering.

    • Chang-Xin Zhao
    • Xi-Yao Li
    • J. Fraser Stoddart
  • Optimizing CO2-to-CO electrolyzers is important for developing tandem electrolysis processes. Now an efficient precious metal-free CO2-to-CO electrolyzer cathode design allows operation under a low stoichiometric CO2 excess ratio that yields a molar CO concentration of 70% in the exit stream along with a diagnostic approach to its catalytic and mass transport characteristics.

    • Sven Brückner
    • Quanchen Feng
    • Peter Strasser
  • A self-driving catalysis laboratory, Fast-Cat, is presented for efficient high-throughput screening of high-pressure, high-temperature, gas–liquid reaction conditions using rhodium-catalyzed hydroformylation as a case study. Fast-Cat is used to Pareto map the reaction space and investigate the varying performance of several phosphorus-based hydroformylation ligands.

    • J. A. Bennett
    • N. Orouji
    • M. Abolhasani
  • Benzyl acetate is a valuable aromatic ester compound used in flavorings and fragrances. Now, a microbial approach is developed to produce benzyl acetate from d-glucose using metabolically engineered Escherichia coli strains and exploiting delayed co-culture strategies.

    • Kyeong Rok Choi
    • Zi Wei Luo
    • Sang Yup Lee
  • Selective recovery of gold from electronic waste using mild reagents is a challenge. Now a photocatalytic technology is reported to enable highly selective gold dissolution through solvent pH adjustment. This process is scaled up to allow for the efficient handling of a single batch of 10 kg of electronic waste.

    • Hengjun Shang
    • Yao Chen
    • Zhenfeng Bian
  • Building liquid devices from solid enclosing walls can be costly and lack reconfigurability. Now the rapid construction and reconfiguration of diverse liquid devices is demonstrated through assembly and disassembly of droplet arrays in a pillared substrate.

    • Yi Zeng
    • Sen Li
    • Zhongze Gu
  • It is challenging to separate middle-sized molecules from complex mixtures using traditional molecular sieves. Here a metal–organic framework has been developed with dynamic molecular pockets that can adjust and accommodate alkynes preferentially, realizing efficient production of high-purity ethylene from its mixtures with alkynes regardless of their molecular sizes.

    • Heng Zeng
    • Xiao-Jing Xie
    • Dan Li
  • Protein engineering is a powerful tool to create new proteins with useful functions and behaviors, but it is slow, laborious and requires specialized knowledge, limiting its broad application. Here, the authors present a system that combines AI and experimental automation to autonomously engineer proteins without human intervention.

    • Jacob T. Rapp
    • Bennett J. Bremer
    • Philip A. Romero
    ArticleOpen Access