Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Chemical engineering

The secret to serving up jellyfish

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 7 September 2017

From the early days of all-things-kale to adopting acai bowls and bibimbap, western culture is no stranger to ‘fashionable’ foods. Thanks to a team of taste scientists in Denmark, jellyfish ‘crisps’ could become a healthier alternative to the humble potato chip.

They may not be your first choice of a healthy snack, but jellyfish are a long-standing delicacy in parts of Asia. To prevent them spoiling, fresh caught jellies are preserved in a month-long salting process. Salt is added and the water content is gradually reduced, turning their ‘jelly’ solid and rubbery. This can then be shredded and rehydrated at a late date, making a protein-rich treat.

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Bradley Olsen: Designing polymers with novel features

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 5 September 2017

Chemical engineer seeks to develop and understand materials that behave in radically new ways.

Anne Trafton | MIT News

Tiny sensors made of antibodies, protein nanospheres that can clean up toxic spills, and gels that could be injected into a wound to initiate healing are just a few of the innovations emerging from Bradley Olsen’s lab at MIT.

Olsen’s research is based on exploring the physical properties of new types of polymers, and taking advantage of those properties to design novel materials that could have many useful applications.

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How algae could become the bio-fuel factories of the future

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 4 September 2017

Around 25,000 aircraft take to the skies every year. Together, they burn 1.5 billion barrels of jet fuel and pump out more than 780 million tonnes of CO2. While this accounts for only a fraction of the world’s CO2 emissions, there is a growing need for aviators to clean up their act.

One popular way to cut the CO2 from flights is to switch to alternative fuels. Sustainable biofuels are a promising candidate to shrink the industry’s huge carbon footprint.

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How chemical engineering changed the world

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 1 September 2017

Dating back to the 1600s, chemical engineers have changed the world. The industry’s roots lie in the ancient practice of alchemy, before a shift towards modern-age chemistry. While they never quite turned lead into gold, early alchemists did lead the way in manufacturing handy chemicals like sulphuric and hydrochloric acid.

Two hundred years later, George E Davis made a name for the industry with a revolutionary book. In “A Handbook of Chemical Engineering”, he noted the defining characteristics of ‘the chemical engineer’, and made the case for their distinction from chemists.

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