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Carbon

An atomic-force microscope image of a layer of single-walled carbon nanotubes deposited on...

Researchers at MIT have developed a new type of photovoltaic cell made with carbon nanotubes that captures solar energy in the near-infrared region of the spectrum, which conventional silicon solar cells don’t. The new design means solar cell efficiency could be greatly increased, boosting the chances to make solar power a more popular source of energy.  Read More

Transmission electron microscopy image of carbon nitride created by the reaction of carbon...

While there are plenty of ways to make carbon-based products from CO2, these methods usually require a lot of energy because the CO2 molecules are so stable. If the energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels, then the net result will be more CO2 entering the atmosphere. Now a material scientist at Michigan Technological University has discovered a chemical reaction that not only soaks up CO2, but also produces useful chemicals along with significant amounts of energy.  Read More

A researcher from Adelaide's Flinders University has developed a prototype solar cell that...

Imagine if every window of the 828-meter (2,717-foot) high Burj Khalifa in Dubai was capable of generating electricity just like a PV panel. That's the promise of solar window technology like the RSi and Sphelar cells systems. Rather than using costly silicon for window-based collection of solar energy, Dr Mark Bissett proposes using a very thin layer of carbon nanotubes instead.  Read More

Coffee grounds like these could be used to remove harmful hydrogen sulfide gas from the ai...

Hopefully, you’re not just throwing your used coffee grounds in the garbage ... are you? Not only are they compostable, but they can also be used in robot hands, biofuel engines for cars, warm sports clothing, and as printer ink. Now, it turns out that they have yet another use – a scientist from The City College of New York has discovered that they’re good at soaking up stinky sewer gas.  Read More

A new form of superhard carbon discovered by scientists could have advantages over diamond...

Carbon is the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe and comes in a wide variety of forms, called allotropes, including graphite, graphene, and the hardest natural material known to man, diamonds. Now scientists have discovered a new form of carbon that is capable of withstanding extreme pressure stresses previously only observed in diamond. Unlike crystalline forms of carbon such as diamonds, whose hardness is highly dependent upon the direction in which the crystal is formed, the new form of carbon is amorphous meaning it could be equally strong in all directions.  Read More

A NASA-led research team has created the most precise map ever produced depicting the amou...

A NASA-led research team has created a new map using ground and satellite data that accurately quantifies the amount and location of carbon stored in Earth's tropical trees and forests. Based on data from the early 2000s, the map focuses on 2.5 million hectares of tropical forest in seventy-five countries. Data shows that tropical forests contain 247 billion tons of carbon, and of this carbon stock, almost half is held in Latin American forests. Almost the same carbon stock is stored in sub-Saharan Africa in its entirety, compared with 61 billion tons of carbon stored in Brazilian forests alone.  Read More

A new method for graphene production has been discovered, that involves burning pure magne...

Graphene, the one-atom-thick carbon sheet material that could revolution everything from energy storage to computer chips, can now be made much more easily – at least, that’s what scientists from Northern Illinois University (NIU) are telling us. While previous production methods have included things like repeatedly splitting graphite crystals with tape, heating silicon carbide to high temperatures, and various other approaches, the latest process simply involves burning pure magnesium in dry ice.  Read More

Activated carbon cloth could find its way into a variety of filtration applications

Researchers have discovered that activated carbon cloth is very effective at filtering harmful compounds out of air and liquids. The material was first developed in the 1980s, to protect British soldiers from chemical attacks. It is still in use today, in chemical, biological and radiological warfare suits for the military. This recent study, however, indicates that it could have a number of other uses.  Read More

A carbon composite wheel with the Zirotec coating

Carbon composite bicycle wheels are a fantastic choice for competitive road cyclists who want to reduce their bike’s revolving weight, while maintaining wheel strength and rigidity. They do have one drawback however: standard hard rubber brake pads don’t work that well against carbon rims, especially in wet conditions or when excessive heat is being generated, such as on steep descents. Cork pads are sometimes used, but these can disintegrate when wet. Disc brakes are another alternative, although their added weight somewhat negates the weight savings gained by switching to carbon wheels in the first place. Now, heat management company Zircotec is experimenting with a thin spray-on ceramic coating for carbon rims that allows for effective use of rubber brake pads under all conditions.  Read More

One of Otarian's new London restaurants

A vegetarian diet, according to its proponents, has a lighter ecological footprint, reduced resource impacts, and lower carbon emissions than the non-vegetarian equivalent. A new fast-casual vegetarian restaurant chain, however, is taking “eating green” to a whole new level. Otarian, which already has locations in New York and opens in London this Friday, is the first global chain to carbon footprint all of its menu items according to the internationally recognized PAS 2050 standard. Not only can diners see the carbon figures for each item listed on the menu, but foods that generate too large of a footprint are simply not offered. The restaurant is also testing out the World Resources Institute's new product carbon foot printing standard, which Otarian claims “will help diners to understand the environmental impact of their food choices in a highly measurable and quantifiable way.”  Read More

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