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Carbon


— Science

Sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere to create carbon nanofibers

By - August 20, 2015 2 Pictures

Carbon nanofibers hold tremendous potential. They may one day be put to use in tougher bulletproof vests, artificial muscles or rebuilding damaged hearts, just to name a few possibilities. But could the greatest gift these little wonders offer humanity be not what they bring into the world but what they take out of it? Scientists have developed a technique that could take the mounting carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and transform it into carbon nanofibers, resulting in raw materials for use in anything from sports gear to commercial airliners.

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— Architecture

BIG crowdfunds steam ring generator for ski slope power plant

By - August 19, 2015 3 Pictures

Back in 2011, we reported on BIG's Amager Bakke project: a waste-to-power station near Copenhagen billed as "the world's cleanest power plant." It should certainly be the world's most fun, as it's due to get a ski slope and an art installation which expels a steam ring each time a ton of carbon dioxide is released. The Danish firm recently turned to Kickstarter to fund development of the steam ring generator.

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— Science

Carbon nanotubes used to create conducting fibers for artificial muscles

By - July 24, 2015 2 Pictures

A new kind of conducting fiber developed at the University of Texas at Dallas is being used to develop artificial muscles and capacitors that store more energy when stretched. The fiber, which is composed of carbon nanotube sheets wrapped around a rubber core, may one day also find use in morphing aircraft, stretchy charger cords and exoskeleton limbs, along with connecting cables for a wealth of other devices.

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— Environment

Packing peanuts could be reused in better batteries

By - March 23, 2015
When a new lab was recently being set up at Purdue University in Indiana, a lot of the equipment arrived in boxes full of protective packing "peanuts." Unfortunately, few facilities exist for recycling the little pieces of foam, so they typically end up sitting in (or getting blown around) landfills for several decades. A team of Purdue researchers, however, discovered that they could find use in better-performing lithium-ion batteries. Read More
— Environment

NASA study predicts devastating droughts during the last half of the century

By - February 17, 2015 2 Pictures
A new NASA study is predicting the occurrence of severe "megadroughts" across the United States in the second half of this century, that are set to be more extreme and prolonged than any droughts that have taken place in the region for the past 1,000 years. According to the study, one of the key driving forces behind the devastating droughts will be the prolific creation of human-produced greenhouse gasses. Read More
— Space

NASA probe will reveal 3D architecture of forests from space

By - September 14, 2014
NASA is developing a laser-based instrument for deployment on the International Space Station that will probe the depths of Earth's forests from space in a bid to reveal more about their role in the planet's carbon cycle. After its completion in 2018, this Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar will join the likes of the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite in studying Earth's vegetation on a global scale. Read More
— Science

Sponge-like structure generates steam using lowest concentration of solar energy yet

By - July 22, 2014 2 Pictures
Researchers working at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering claim to have produced a sponge-like substance that helps convert water to steam using sunlight one-hundredth as bright as that required by conventional steam-producing solar generators. A composite of graphite flakes layered on a bed of carbon foam, the new material is reported to convert as much as 85 percent of received solar energy into steam. Read More
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