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Materials

Paper waste converted into eco-friendly aerogel

Known as "frozen smoke" because of their milky translucent appearance, aerogels are among the world's lightest solid materials. Consisting of 99.8 percent air, they're highly heat-resistant and are an excellent form of insulation. Now, scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have used paper waste to create one.Read More

Environment

Epson's PaperLab brings office paper recycling in-house

Even with the efficiency of today's digital communications, the modern office still churns through its fair share of paper. The typical recycling process involves a lot of water and transporting of material to an off-site facility, but printer company Epson says it has a more efficient and manageable solution. Its newly-announced PaperLab machine breaks down workplace wastepaper and fashions it into fresh sheets on-site, while using only a tiny amount of water.Read More

Drones

PowerUp FPV lets you see the world from a paper plane's point of view

Not that long ago, it would have been hard to believe that a paper airplane could be electrically powered and remotely-controlled. That was before the original PowerUp kit was launched, however. New features been added since, culminating in today's announcement of the upcoming PowerUp FPV – a kit that will equip your paper planes with motorized propellers and a first-person-view video camera.Read More

Materials

Origami and the art of structural engineering

From military shelters and solar arrays to batteries and drones, engineers continue to prove that origami can be the inspiration for more than just paper cranes. The latest creation inspired by the ancient art of paper folding is a new "zippered tube" design that forms paper structures with enough stiffness to support weight, but can be folded flat for shipping or storage. The scaleable technique could be used in anything from microscopic robots and biomedical devices, to buildings and bridges.

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Good Thinking

The Drinkable Book has water-purifying pages

For people in developing nations or rural locations, getting clean water may soon be as simple as opening a book … and ripping a page out. That’s the idea behind The Drinkable Book, developed by Carnegie Mellon University postdoc Theresa Dankovich. Each of its pages is made from a thick sheet of paper impregnated with silver and copper nanoparticles, that kill 99.9 percent of microbes in tainted water that’s filtered through it.Read More

Science

Chemists create clever rewritable paper

The paperless office – one of the promises of the new digital age – has not really eventuated. Instead, most organizations still print out large amounts of documents on paper that, according to the WWF, is being produced at around 400 million tons (362 million tonnes) a year and rising. So, wouldn’t it be great if we could just simply wipe off the print on paper and use it over and over again? Chemists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) thought that this might be a good idea too, and have now created rewritable paper that can be printed on and erased more than 20 times before it needs to be discarded.Read More

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