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Technology Name
Briefcase
Scientist
1786
Perovskites are a class of crystalline materials with a common complex chemical structure. Lead-halide hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites have recently emerged as highly efficient optoelectronic materials. Such materials are being intensively investigated and developed for photovoltaics,...

Perovskites are a class of crystalline materials with a common complex chemical structure. Lead-halide hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites have recently emerged as highly efficient optoelectronic materials. Such materials are being intensively investigated and developed for photovoltaics, photodetection, light-emitting diodes, and laser devices. Solar cells containing hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites have achieved over 20% certified efficiency.

Perovskites are most commonly synthesized by combining a metal salt (for example, a lead-based salt such as lead iodide) with an organic halide salt in a single step, by spin-coating from a solution of both salts, by co-evaporation, or by a two-step method of forming the metal salt film and subsequently exposing it to the organic halide. The existing fabrication methods suffer from high toxicity, complexity and high energy input.

We present a new method for the preparation of halide perovskites on a substrate for optoelectronic devices and solar cells, including tandem cells that produce higher voltages.

Applications


·      Solar cells

·      Other optoelectronic devices (e.g., photodetectors, light-emitting diodes, lasers)


Advantages


·      Reduced toxicity

·      Simple and straight-forward fabrication method

·      Excellent morphology control of the perovskites


Technology's Essence


Perovskites are crystalline materials with the formula ABX3, in which A and B are cations and X represents an anion. In hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites (HOIPs), A is an organic cation, B is a metal cation, and X is a halide anion.

The synthesis of HOIPs usually involves the use of toxic metal salts (for example, lead iodide or lead acetate) and organic solvents (such as dimethylformamide). Additionally, the combination of a metal salt with several organic solvents, such as dimethylsulfoxide, increases the toxicity of the solution in use.

The new fabrication method utilizes a metal or a metal alloy and an organic halide salt. In the first step, a layer comprising one of the components is deposited on a substrate. Then, the deposited layer is treated with a solution or a vapor of the second component to form a halide HOIP on a solid surface. This method provides a direct conversion of an elemental metal or a metal alloy to a halide perovskite or a perovskite related material. The main advantage of the presented method is the reduced toxicity of the solution used in the process. Additionally, the metals (mainly lead) are much less toxic in terms of manufacturing than the salts of the same metals.

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  • Prof. David Cahen
1749
Our novel technology provides an inexpensive, safe and clean solution for loading and unloading of hydrogen on demand with high potential hydrogen storage capacity. Hydrogen storage is currently the key hurdle to its utilization as an alternative green fuel. Being the smallest molecule, hydrogen is...

Our novel technology provides an inexpensive, safe and clean solution for loading and unloading of hydrogen on demand with high potential hydrogen storage capacity.
Hydrogen storage is currently the key hurdle to its utilization as an alternative green fuel. Being the smallest molecule, hydrogen is highly diffusive and buoyant. Currently, hydrogen is stored physically as a gas, requiring high-pressure tanks, or in liquid form at cryogenic temperatures, both methods require high energy input. Proposed chemical storage systems are based on relatively expensive materials, suffer from poor regeneration after hydrogen release and require elevated temperatures and pressures.
The presented technology utilizes inexpensive and abundant organic compounds that generate hydrogen gas during a chemical transformation. Hydrogen release and the regeneration of the original compound are performed in mild conditions using the same catalyst. This system is a promising candidate to be the basis of compact and cost-effective chemical hydrogen storage platforms.

Applications


  • High potential hydrogen storage capacity (6.6 wt%)
  • Inexpensive and readily available hydrogen carriers (aminoalcohols)
  • Relatively mild release and regeneration conditions

  • Advantages


    • Hydrogen-fueled systems, including fuel cells
    • High capacity hydrogen storage systems

    Technology's Essence


    The technology is based on aminoalcohols that are catalytically converted to cyclic dipeptides, while forming hydrogen gas, using a ruthenium pincer catalyst. Peptide hydrogenation, using the same catalyst, regenerates the aminoalcohol. The same method can be applied with diaminoalkanes and alcohols as well.
    The reaction requires a relatively low organic solvent volume, a catalytic amount of base (KOtBu) for the in situ generation of the active catalyst and mild reaction conditions in terms of hydrogen pressure (50 bar) and temperature (~100 oC). Repetitive cycles of the dehydrogenation-hydrogenation reactions can be performed without adding new catalyst, while maintaining high percentages of aminoalcohol conversion.

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    • Prof. David Milstein
    1670
    A method for selective extraction of precious and rare metals has been developed at the Weizmann Institute. This method allows the efficient and environmentally benign recovery of precious materials that are currently discarded of in large quantities from spent catalysts (automotive and industrial)...

    A method for selective extraction of precious and rare metals has been developed at the Weizmann Institute. This method allows the efficient and environmentally benign recovery of precious materials that are currently discarded of in large quantities from spent catalysts (automotive and industrial) from industrial processes (particularly in the electronic industry).

    Prof. Igor Lubomirsky’s novel process is based on volatilization for selective extraction of precious and rare metals using benign metal salts, rather than dangerous chlorine gas as a chlorinating agent. The new process requires relatively low temperatures and is free from hazardous waste, among its additional advantages over conventional methods.

    We believe that this efficient technology is key to increased reclaimed precious metals output, potentially resulting in the reduction of the demand for primary rare metals.

    Applications


    ·           Recycling precious metals from spent items, e.g. platinum group metals from catalytic convertors


    Advantages


    ·         No toxic input – chlorides are used rather than chlorine gas.

    ·         No hazardous waste is generated in the process.

    ·         Mild conditions. High-temperature furnaces and equipment are not required.

    ·         Relatively simple setup in comparison to conventional ones.

    ·         Small scale plants are economically viable.


    Technology's Essence


    Prof. Igor Lubomirsky and his group developed a novel method for the recovery of PGM from spent catalysts that can be applicable for other spent systems as well.

    The method comprises of crushing the spent catalyst to obtain a catalyst particulate material with g a predetermined grain size and reacting it with chlorine containing salts rather than pure chlorine gas in a furnace at relatively low temperatures (900oC, far below the temperature required in the conventional volatilization method). This is followed by cooling the volatile PMG chloride product converting it into solid phase metal.

     

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    • Prof. Igor Lubomirsky
    • Prof. Igor Lubomirsky
    1716
    An efficient and selective decomposition of plant biomass carbohydrates to their basic components, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, for use as syngas.Terrestrial plants contain about 70% hemicellulose and cellulose, which constitute a significant renewable bio-resource with potential as an alternative to...

    An efficient and selective decomposition of plant biomass carbohydrates to their basic components, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, for use as syngas.
    Terrestrial plants contain about 70% hemicellulose and cellulose, which constitute a significant renewable bio-resource with potential as an alternative to petroleum feedstock for carbon-based fuels. Traditional conversion of biomass to liquid fuels has been in the form of ethanol and bio-diesel, but this process is inefficient and much of the starting material is unusable and ultimately becomes waste.[1] Additionally, use of ethanol or bio-diesel is not universal to all engines as vehicles require specialized components to run on these fuels.
    The presented technology allows for significantly greater efficiency in use of starting material, and the versatile final product of syngas, which can be a fuel itself or used as a fuel precursor in the well-known Fischer-Tropsch process to create hydrocarbons.[2] Alternatively, in a hydrogen economy scenario, this method can also be used to convert carbon monoxide to hydrogen via the water-gas shift reaction. Advantageously, both processes allow for the polyoxometalate (POM) catalyst to be reused without the need for recovery, which enables continuous use in a refinery setting.

    Applications


    • Liquid hydrocarbon fuel synthesis from syngas
    • Entry into a new market – hydrogen production from biomass

    Advantages


    • Efficient and complete breakdown of starting biomass material
    • Possible to produce hydrogen or syngas as product

    Technology's Essence


    The technology allows for preparation of syngas by reaction of a carbohydrate with a POM catalyst in the presence of a concentrated acid under anaerobic conditions, to yield carbon monoxide, followed by electrochemical release of hydrogen. This two-step process allows for easy separation and storage of the desired products. An alternative application of the same POM catalyst relates to a method for preparing formic acid in a similar method, but in a solvent consisting of a mixture of alcohol and water.
    This reaction is based on the unexpected finding that POM catalysts, such as H5PV2Mo10O40, catalyze plant biomass derived polysaccharides of general form (CnH2nOn)m, with high selectivity and efficiency under mild conditions. Formation of CO occurs through an intermediate formation of formic acid and formaldehyde, and transformation of these transition compounds in concentrated acid results in the desired CO product. During this process, hydrogen atoms are stored on the POM catalysts as protons and electrons. Hydrogen gas is subsequently electrochemically released from the POM catalyst, which returns the catalyst to its original oxidized state and allows for continued reuse.

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    • Prof. Ronny Neumann
    1753
    The Chiral Induced Spin Selectivity (CISS) effect, discovered in recent years by Prof. Ron Naaman from the Weizmann Institute of Science, implies that electrons transferred through chiral molecules possess a specific spin orientation. Hence, the molecular chirality and electron spin are correlated.A...

    The Chiral Induced Spin Selectivity (CISS) effect, discovered in recent years by Prof. Ron Naaman from the Weizmann Institute of Science, implies that electrons transferred through chiral molecules possess a specific spin orientation. Hence, the molecular chirality and electron spin are correlated.
    A team of researchers lead by Prof. Naaman have been investigating the CISS effect in different systems. They found that the high efficiency of many natural multiple electron reactions can also be attributed to spin alignment of the electrons involved.
    The present innovation looks at hydrogen production through water electrolysis, showing that when using anodes coated by chiral molecules the efficiency of the electrolysis process increases by 30% compared to using uncoated, regular electrodes.

    Applications


  • Control of electron spin
  • Significant reduction of over-potential in spin sensitive electrochemical reactions
  • Efficient electrochemical processes
  • Minimum side reactions

  • Advantages


     

    Technology's Essence


    Spin selective electrodes made from standard electrode material are coated with chiral molecules. These coated electrodes were used for electrolysis of water and showed superior efficacy compared to standard un-coated electrodes, by reduction of the over-potential required for the process. This is explained by the spin selective electron conduction through the chiral layer:

     

     

     

    Hydrogen production as a function of time for (A) the chiral molecules and (B) for the achiral molecules. The potentials in the brackets refer to the over-potential compared to DNA coated electrode. The measurements were conducted at the Eapp for each of the molecules.

     

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    • Prof. Ron Naaman
    1684
    Gaseous energy sources such as hydrogen and natural gas (predominantly methane) encompass an intrinsic transport problem because of their volatility and flammability. Adsorption of the gas on a solid material (such as MOF) facilitates safe, light and economical transport of the gas. This is especially...

    Gaseous energy sources such as hydrogen and natural gas (predominantly methane) encompass an intrinsic transport problem because of their volatility and flammability. Adsorption of the gas on a solid material (such as MOF) facilitates safe, light and economical transport of the gas. This is especially significant in the huge natural gas (NG) market where solutions are required for storage and transport of the gas whether from NG reservoirs in high pressure giant tanks or as a compact low pressure NG tank for small vehicles and other NG powered devices.
    The invention involves a new method for the formation of uniform metal organic frameworks (MOFs) at quantitative yields and in a controlled manner.
    These MOFs can be tailored to adsorb specific gases for low pressure - high volume storage and transport applications.

    Applications


    • Low pressure – high volume gas storage and transportation
    • Safe storage of toxic or otherwise dangerous gases
    • Low energy solid phase gas separation and purification
    • Production of MOF-based catalysts

    Advantages


    • Uniform crystallite morphology
    • A quantitative process
    • Ability to design and control product structure
    • Control of pore size
    • Single step process
    • No additives

    Technology's Essence


    The invention comprises a new solvothermal synthetic procedure in which specific metal ions are selected to react with specific organic ligands to form uniform sub-microstructured MOFs with a narrow size distribution and without the need for a modulator to define the crystal morphology.
    Controlling the selected reagents as well as the specific reaction conditions influences the resulting crystallites formed and enables a fine selection of the desired structure.
    MOFs prepared this way have exceptional uniformity profiles of size and shape and can be tailored to selectively adsorb specific gases for low pressure - high volume storage and transport applications.

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    • Prof. Milko E. Van der Boom
    1551
    A novel set of manganese, ruthenium and related borohydride complexes (Pincer-type) were developed as remarkably efficient and environmentally-benign catalysts for the synthesis of alcohols, amines, amides, imines and esters, which are the basic building blocks for the research, chemicals,...

    A novel set of manganese, ruthenium and related borohydride complexes (Pincer-type) were developed as remarkably efficient and environmentally-benign catalysts for the synthesis of alcohols, amines, amides, imines and esters, which are the basic building blocks for the research, chemicals, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. In addition, a catalytic carbon-carbon bond formation using non-activated aliphatic nitriles and carbonyl compounds was achieved with the manganese complex. These reactions are conducted under mild and neutral conditions, using low catalyst loading, require no hydrogen acceptors or oxidants, employ no corrosive or toxic reagents and generate no waste. Moreover, manganese is one of the most abundant transition metals on earth crust, making it appealing and biocompatible when considering a system for eventual scale-up and industrial use.

    In view of global concerns regarding economy, environment and sustainable energy resources, there is an urgent need for the discovery of new catalytic reactions. These newly developed catalysts address key problems of current traditional synthetic methodologies, both from the economic and the environmental aspects.

    Applications


    ·         Pharmaceuticals

    ·         Dyes

    ·         Cosmetics and fragrances

    ·         Fibers

    ·         Agrochemicals


    Advantages


    ·         Cost-effective in terms of reagents, reactions conditions (low temperature and pressure) and waste treatment (green reactions).

    ·         New synthetic pathways that were not possible before, such as the synthesis of amides and imines directly from alcohols and amines, esters synthesis from alcohols and methanol synthesis from CO2 and hydrogen.

    ·         Broad substrate scope.

    ·         Excellent yields.


    Technology's Essence


    Prof. David Milstein’s group has discovered a new mode of action for metal-ligand cooperation, involving aromatization–dearomatization of ligands. Pincer-type, pyridine-based complexes of Mn, Ir, Rh, Ru, Pd, Pt and acridine complexes of Ru have been shown to exhibit such cooperation, leading to facile activation of C-H, C-C, H-H, N-H, O-H bonds, and to novel, environmentally friendly reactions catalyzed by Mn and Ru.

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    • Prof. David Milstein
    1577
    A novel desulfurization system achieves removal of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from industrial exhaust streams at efficiencies that can greatly supersede technologies currently in use. The chemical process is highly selective to SO2, and consumes much less reagents, therefore reducing the cost of...

    A novel desulfurization system achieves removal of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from industrial exhaust streams at efficiencies that can greatly supersede technologies currently in use. The chemical process is highly selective to SO2, and consumes much less reagents, therefore reducing the cost of desulfurization.Techniques to capture SO2 from coal-burning plants have not changed in nearly 40 years. Once implemented, the technology presented here can become significantly more efficient and environmentally friendly than existing techniques, since no slurry waste is created from the wet sorbents typically used to capture SO2.The novel system can selectively recycle SO2 into useful sulfur-based compounds which can be resold; utilizing a carbonate eutectic melt this procedure can also be aimed to generate elemental sulfur, an inert and non-toxic compound which can be stored long-term until required for further use.In a world anxious over climate change, yet in demand of more energy, solutions should have the capacity to be implemented quickly and incorporated into existing infrastructure. This technology offers the potential to tackle several problems with one simple solution.

    Applications


    Integrate into industrial fossil-fuel burning facilities which include:

    • Power plants
    • Cement factories
    • Steel foundries

    Advantages


    • Implement into existing infrastructure and reduce reagents’ costs compared to current techniques
    • Significantly higher efficiency and elimination of hazardous waste by-products
    • Potential generation of revenue from recycled Sulfur waste.

    Technology's Essence


    The significant enhancement of this scrubbing technique is the sequentially operable scrubbing zone and regeneration zone, which communicate with one another via a molten eutectic mixture of lithium, sodium and potassium carbonates. In the scrubbing zone, an ingress flue gas interacts with the molten carbonates, resulting in chemical absorbance of the SO2 and in discharge of reaction gases. In the regeneration zone, either chemical or electrochemical melt regeneration takes place resulting in formation of sulfur containing vapor which is cooled down for converting the sulfur-containing vapor into a liquid and solid phase for a further collection and utilization.The technology developed by Prof. Igor Lubomirsky and his team introduces three essential improvements over past techniques: (i) the removal of sulfate from the melt is achieved at expected operating temperatures of an industrial scrubbing tower (480-550°C), which drastically reduces corrosion of metal components, (ii) the reduction of sulfates by CO gas rather than by carbon powder represents a simpler, one-step process, which results in a high reduction rate and allows for the reaction chamber to be small (few tens of m3 for a 1GW coal plant), and (iii) the removal of sulfate in the form of COS, rather than H2S, provides considerable freedom in choosing the final sulfur product – either sulfuric acid or elemental sulfur.

     

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    • Prof. Igor Lubomirsky
    1583
    The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. Thermoelectric effects are used in various applications, where heat energy is saved, that would be otherwise lost. Although the TE conversion efficiency is nowadays low (5-8%), the novel...

    The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. Thermoelectric effects are used in various applications, where heat energy is saved, that would be otherwise lost. Although the TE conversion efficiency is nowadays low (5-8%), the novel technique developed at Weizmann Institute, has a disruptive potential to change this market.  

    Prof. Y. Imry and his team at Weizmann Institute came up with Thermal Electric conversion technique, based on a new TE device architecture which allows performance enhancement. The core invention is in the field of Bi-junction thermoelectric device architecture, having a thermoelectric gate interposed between two electric regions, leading to thermal electric conversion efficiency optimization.

    Applications


    Various TE devices will benefit from better TE efficiency, achieved by the developed conversion technique. The growing market for thermoelectric energy harvesters will reach $865 million by 2023. Current TE market is driven by consumer energy harvesting applications and some niche segments:

    •  Automotive energy harvesting applications, since around 40% of the energy produced by internal combustion engines is currently lost in heat through the exhaust.
    • Wireless devices/sensors segment is forecasted to account for over a third of the overall market for thermoelectric harvesters and cooling by 2023.

    Advantages


    In order to drive down the thermoelectric module costs and facilitate broad deployment, TE has several barriers to overcome: 

    •  low conversion efficiency;
    • toxicity and low availability of chemical elements constituting part of the thermoelectric materials.

     In this context, the main TE market challenges are reaching higher efficiencies using low cost thermoelectric materials. These challenges can be addressed by the proposed technology.


    Technology's Essence


    Prof. Y. Imry and his team at Weizmann Institute have developed novel bi-junction TE device, having a thermoelectric gate interposed between two electric regions, aiming at TE efficiency improvement. Thermoelectric efficiency depends on the figure of merit (ZT). The figure-of-merit curves, for the developed 3-T TE device configurations show that higher ZT should be achieved.  

    The secret essence of the invented configuration is in using two independently adjustable input parameters - voltage and temperature - as drivers for optimizing device thermoelectric efficiency.

     

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    • Prof. Yoseph Imry
    1536
    Designer cellulosomes are synthetic multi-enzyme complexes that can degrade cellulosic biomass efficiently and economically. The goal of second generation biofuel production is to efficiently convert agricultural waste, algae and other cellulosic biomass into sugar monomers.   Cellulosic biomass...

    Designer cellulosomes are synthetic multi-enzyme complexes that can degrade cellulosic biomass efficiently and economically. The goal of second generation biofuel production is to efficiently convert agricultural waste, algae and other cellulosic biomass into sugar monomers.

     

    Cellulosic biomass pretreated (e.g. with acid) under ideal conditions, still requires very high enzyme doses to provide efficient bioconversion.

    The cost of enzymes and pretreatment is a major hurdle in the production of low-cost cellulosic biofuel, competitive with that of fossil fuels or ethanol produced from corn or sugarcane.

     

    The complex structure of cellulosic materials is built to resist bacterial hydrolytic enzymes. The cooperation of many types of carbohydrate-active enzymes is required for effective degradation. By designing synthetic cellulosomes, researchers at The Weizmann Institute enhance synergy between carbohydrate-active enzymes to achieve remarkable degradation rates. Their discoveries can lead to highly efficient conversion of cellulosic biomass, and thus have a major impact in the field of food production and sustainable energy.

    Applications


    • High-yield, cost-effective conversion of plant cell wall biomass into soluble sugars for the food industry and the production of biofuels and biochemicals.

    Advantages


    • Bio-engineered cellulosomes exhibit synergistic degradation activity of natural substrates compared to the combined action of the free wild-type enzymes.

    Technology's Essence


    The invention involves the conversion of enzymes (cellulases and xylanases) from the free mode to the cellulosmal mode by attachment using a recombinant dockerin molecule. The dockerin-bearing enzymes are incorporated into designer cellulosomes by interacting with a matching cohesion-containing chimeric scaffoldin (scaffoldin subunits contain the cohesin modules that incorporate the enzymes into the cellulosome complex via their resident dockerins). This approach has generated over two fold enhancement of synergistic hydrolysis on plant cell wall cellulosic biomass. These results create new possibilities for designing superior enzyme compositions for degradation of complex polysaccharides into simple soluble sugars.

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    • Prof. Edward A. Bayer
    1564
    A new recyclable size-selective filtration device. Particle size, chemical purity and dispersion of nanoparticles crucially determine their optical, electronic and chemical properties. Size-selective separation technologies are becoming increasingly important for the development of nanoparticles with...

    A new recyclable size-selective filtration device.

    Particle size, chemical purity and dispersion of nanoparticles crucially determine their optical, electronic and chemical properties. Size-selective separation technologies are becoming increasingly important for the development of nanoparticles with well-defined sizes, which have application in the fields of optoelectronic devices, biomedicine, materials, and catalysis.

    Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have fabricated supramolecular ultrafiltration membranes that can be used for filtration and size-selective chromatography of nanoparticles. The membranes are composed of a self-assembled three-dimensional fibrous network that is held together by reversible non-covalent interactions.

    The membranes are robust, easy to fabricate, and recyclable.

    Applications


    • Size-selective separation of semiconductor and metal nanoparticles
    • Uniformity and monodispersity of nanoparticles in solution.
    • Size exclusion chromatography of nanoparticles in the sub-5-nm size regime.

    Advantages


    • Efficient and inexpensive

    • Fast and easy fabrication

    • Recyclable

    • Self-assembled

    • Dual application regime: filtration and/or chromatography


    Technology's Essence


    The recyclable supramolecular membranes are formed from unique perylene derivatives that are large and flat aromatic molecules. These molecules are insoluble in water and form a 3-D network over a solid support, which can be used for the separation of nanoparticles.

    The filters can be subsequently recycled from this mixture using an organic solvent (e.g. dichloromethane), which separates the membrane material from the water-soluble nanoparticles, and reused without loss of performance.

    This material is hence highly attractive for application in the field of nanotechnology.

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    • Prof. Boris Rybtchinski
    1582
    Over-expression of an oil globule protein for increased production of oil. Oil globules are discrete organelles, ubiquitous in animals, microorganisms and plants. Plant oil globules contain specific proteins that are tightly bound to their surface. These proteins are suggested to have different roles,...

    Over-expression of an oil globule protein for increased production of oil.

    Oil globules are discrete organelles, ubiquitous in animals, microorganisms and plants. Plant oil globules contain specific proteins that are tightly bound to their surface. These proteins are suggested to have different roles, including globules formation, degradation and stabilization. The present invention relies on the fact that oil globule associated proteins stabilize the oil bodies, and suggests the induction of one of these proteins as a means to obtain high yields of oil globules. 

    Applications


    • Higher yields of oil for food and biodiesel

    • Higher yield of the pigment astaxanthin or beta carotene in pigment-accumulating algae


    Advantages


    • Obtaining valuable materials (oil and pigments) with a relatively simple manipulation (i.e., over-expression of the globule-associated protein)
    • Cost-effective

    Technology's Essence


    In many microorganisms (e.g., yeasts, micro-algae and bacteria), the accumulation of oil globules appears to be induced specifically in response to environmental stresses such as nutrient limitation, high irradiance or osmotic stress. One specific protein, found only in micro-algae, was enriched in isolated globules and in stressed cells, in correlation to astaxanthin accumulation. This correlation makes the protein a promising candidate to function in stress response, and more specifically, in globule buildup. Therefore, it may be expected that its over-expression in plants or in algae could increase the accumulation of oil (tryglycerides).

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    • Prof. Uri Pick
    1657
    Bioengineered formatotrophic E.Coli can be utilized to efficiently generate biomass from electricity. A popular direction for cleantech in recent years is that of biorefineries, that use living organisms to supply the human demand for chemical commodities. Electricity is considered to be a potential...

    Bioengineered formatotrophic E.Coli can be utilized to efficiently generate biomass from electricity. A popular direction for cleantech in recent years is that of biorefineries, that use living organisms to supply the human demand for chemical commodities. Electricity is considered to be a potential feedstock for biorefineries, with the end products serving as solid or liquid storage of energy.  Such microbial electrosynthesis is highly dependent on mediators to enable electron transfer from an electrode to a living cell. 
    Formic acid (formate) is an electron mediator with a number of desired features for microbial electrosynthesis. However, wild-type organisms that can grow on formate are not suitable for industrial use due to slow growth rates and metabolism. 
    Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have successfully engineered a formatotrophic E.coli. By combining systematical analysis with computational tools they screened numerous metabolic pathways and identified the optimized metabolic pathway that supports efficient formate-based growth. This innovative method enables the design of industrial strains of bacteria capable of efficient microbial electrosynthesis.

    Applications


    • Biofuel and chemical commodities production.

    Advantages


    • Efficient and robust storage of electrical energy.
    • Cost effective conversion of C1 compounds into sugars.

    Technology's Essence


    By engineering E. coli, the ”workhorse” bacteria used in biotechnology and enabling its growth on formate, researches at Dr. Ron Milo’s lab paved the way for efficient microbial electrosynthesis. The Researches started by investigating many metabolic pathways in order to discover how a model organism such as E.coli can be engineered for formatotrophic growth.  estimate which pathway is most suitable to support growth on formate each pathway was examined based on various criteria such as biomass yield, thermodynamic favorability, chemical motive force, kinetics and additional practical challenges. 
    One short favorable pathway was consistently identified, that is the reductive glycine pathway. Furthermore.  Researches generated an isolated organism that is able to convert formate to pyruvate or glycerate.


    Licensing Status


    Pending

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    • Prof. Ron Milo
    1184
    Trace chemical or biological elements can be accurately detected and monitored in the field or at the point of care through use of this new quick, cost-effective platform technology based on a hybrid chemical-electronic detector. Analytes can be measured according to the electrical current changes they...

    Trace chemical or biological elements can be accurately detected and monitored in the field or at the point of care through use of this new quick, cost-effective platform technology based on a hybrid chemical-electronic detector. Analytes can be measured according to the electrical current changes they induce with high specificity and accuracy at parts-per-billion (ppb) levels.

    Applications


    Transducer which may be developed to suite: Medical diagnostics: point of care, real time diagnostics of chemical and biological substances. Environmental watch: monitoring air or water pollution, testing for food poisoning. Chemical warfare: detection of chemical agents and explosives. Industry: monitoring industrial processes at real time.

    Technology's Essence


    Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have developed a platform technology based on novel hybrid chemical-electronic detector MOCSER (MOlecular Controlled SEmiconductor Resistor). The technology is based on a new type of a Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) electronic device covered with a monolayer of sensing molecules. The detection is achieved by measuring the current changes created due to analyte binding. The researchers have succeeded in showing high sensitivity and accuracy of the device down to parts per billion (ppb) levels. They have also demonstrated the possibility for broad applications of this detector by tailoring different sensing molecules on it and measuring various substances.

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    • Prof. Ron Naaman
    • Prof. David Cahen
    1392
    A catalytic based reaction for the treatment of industrial waste water. Millions of tons of organic chemical compounds - including solvents, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals - are produced every year by a wide variety of chemical industries. Two immediate problems arise: 1. Industrial...

    A catalytic based reaction for the treatment of industrial waste water. Millions of tons of organic chemical compounds - including solvents, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals - are produced every year by a wide variety of chemical industries. Two immediate problems arise: 1. Industrial production of these chemicals and/or other products leads to effluent streams - highly toxic, contaminated aqueous solutions - from factories. These effluents must be treated prior to release of the water back into the environment. 2. Following use, these chemicals (e.g., agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals) become serious pollutants as they eventually find their way into the soil, sediment, and surface and/or groundwater environments. Current treatment methods are severely limited. Treatment of effluent streams by, e.g., filtration, photocatalysis, or bioreactors is often highly ineffective - the waste compounds not being easily captured, degraded or transformed - and/or prohibitively expensive.

    Applications


    • Detoxification of industrial effluents, especially from petrochemical, agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries 
    • Waste water decontamination 
    • In situ and ex situ remediation of water polluted by organic and other contaminants

    Advantages


    • Cost efficient
    • Quick

    Technology's Essence


    Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a new process for degradation and/or treatment of practically any organic contaminant in aqueous solutions under oxidizing (aerobic) conditions. A suite of catalytic materials has been developed which allows both in situ and ex situ remediation of polluted water by oxidative chemical degradation of contaminants. The technology eliminates or reduces a broad range of water pollutants - industrial organic solvents, petrochemicals, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals (e.g., endocrine disruptors such as antiobiotics and hormones) - and is particularly effective for treating concentrated industrial effluents, under technically convenient conditions. The reaction products consist essentially of benign materials.

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    • Prof. Brian Berkowitz

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