Cora Ball emulates natural filtering of coral to remove toxic microfibers from your washing machine

April 8, 2019 by  
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Microfiber is a word that many of us have grown familiar with, as it is listed on many clothing descriptors. Only recently connected with the term microfiber is the knowledge that the miniscule particles wash off of our clothing and into our waterways with each load of laundry. Seeing the problem, Cora Ball offers a solution that traps those errant microfibers before they escape down the water drain. As common as the phrase is, many people don’t know that microfiber is actually a tiny synthetic fiber. In fact, it is so tiny that it measures less than 1/5 the diameter of a human hair. So millions of microfibers are in each article of clothing. Note that microfiber can also be labeled as polyester, nylon, Kevlar, Nomex, trogamid, polyamide, polypropylene and more. Related: If you eat seafood, you’re probably eating fleece microfibers Without being able to see the microfibers it’s difficult to inform consumers about their dangers. It’s not as visual as plastic water bottles lying alongside the road. However, if you replace the term microfiber with microplastic you can see how plastics get flushed into the water system. Once the microplastic travels to the ocean, aquatic animals come into contact with it. Sadly, the simple act of washing your clothes is detrimental to sea life and how it makes its way back to our table. Simply put, that means the fish we eat are now loaded with plastic particles that we can’t see. Take, for example, your favorite sweatshirt. If it lists any form of  microfiber on the label, you’re flushing tens to hundreds of thousands of microplastics down the drain with each washing of that item alone. This has resulted in innumerable microplastics in the ocean. Enter the Cora Ball. After researching the natural filtering abilities of coral in the sea , the team designed the Cora Ball with the ability to collect microfibers in each load. This allows the microplastic to accumulate into visible fuzz that can be kept from going down the drain. With this in mind, the company estimates that “If 10% of US households use a Cora Ball, we can keep the plastic equivalent of over 30 million water bottles from washing into our public waterways every year. That is enough water bottles to reach from New York City to London.” In conjunction with the goal of sustainability , the Cora Ball is made from diverted or recycled, and completely recyclable, rubber. It is suitable for all types of washing machines and has proven durability with an expected life cycle of over five years. With its innovative design , ease of use, effectiveness, and focus on environmental improvement, the Cora Ball has received the following acknowledgements: Finalist for the Ocean Exchange’s Neptune Award Part of the 2016 Think Beyond Plastic cohort Innovation Stage of 2016 Our Ocean Conference, Washington D.C. Finalist Launch Vermont 2018 Cohort Finalist Vermont Female Founders Start Here Challenge 2018 +Cora Ball Images via Cora Ball

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Cora Ball emulates natural filtering of coral to remove toxic microfibers from your washing machine

Scientists figured out how to make water freeze at boiling temperatures

November 30, 2016 by  
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When water, in its liquid form, is confined within carbon nanotubes, it takes on some amazing new properties. Researchers at MIT have discovered that water trapped inside carbon nanotubes can actually freeze at the high temperatures that would normally bring it to a rolling boil . Previous research has long shown that the boiling and freezing points of water change when it is confined to small spaces, but those temperature variations usually hover around 10C. The introduction of carbon nanotubes has changed the game significantly. Carbon nanotubes are tube-like structures with a diameter measured in nanometers, which are equal to one-billionth of a meter or about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. The carbon nanotubes used during the MIT experiments were just slightly larger in diameter than the width of a few water molecules. Because water confined within the carbon nanotubes can take on a solid frozen state at a much higher temperature than in other vessels, the discovery could lead to inventions such as ice-filled wires, which could exist at room temperature. Related: MIT uses carbon nanotubes to boost lithium battery power 10x In order to better understand how water molecules behave when trapped in such small spaces, the research team used carbon nanotubes of different diameters, noting that even a tiny fraction of difference in size translated into different phase change temperature points. Nanotubes ranging from 1.05 nanometers to 1.06 nanometers resulted in a difference of tens of degrees around the apparent freezing point, something that surprised the research team. Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT, is one of five contributing authors on the research . “If you confine a fluid to a nanocavity, you can actually distort its phase behavior,” he said. “The effect is much greater than anyone had anticipated.” The research was recently published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Via New Atlas Images via Cloudzilla/Flickr and MIT

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Scientists figured out how to make water freeze at boiling temperatures

How shared space makes four micro apartments in Japan seem much larger

November 30, 2016 by  
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Sometimes, size really doesn’t matter. Designed by Osamu Nishida and Erika Nakagawa from ON Design & Partners , the Yokohama Apartment complex features four micro residential units measuring around 215 square feet each. Despite such reduced dimensions, clever design ensures the small spaces feel expansive and livable. Magic especially resides in a shared open-air courtyard conceived as a living-room and a kitchen that doubles as an art gallery for the four artists living upstairs. With 1636 square feet of total floor area, the Yokohama Apartment building is subdivided into two levels. The common space on the ground level is canopied by the private residential floor, which is cut into four parts, and each unit has its own access coming up from the ground floor. Twisted stairs provide access without compromising tenants’ privacy. The ground floor is a covered open air piazza that provides common and private storage rooms, a micro kitchen unit and a dining room. This area is used for exhibitions, workshops, presentations, debates and other art activities. Related: Slice of the City home in Japan uses bold angles to solve tricky space restrictions Yokohama Apartment comprises brilliant Japanese design that maximizes every single inch. Unfortunately, this great invention mirrors a turning point in Japanese society, whereby poverty and unemployment, particularly among young people, forces innovation. Sharing space offers a bright alternative to the small and introverted dwellings common in Japan today. This societal concern was raised by Yoshiyuki Yamana, the curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture earlier this year ; he chose the Yokohama Apartment project as an example of how to successfully adapt to the country’s new social condition . + ON Design & Partners + Venice Biennale Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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L’Oral’s wearable patch changes color to warn against skin cancer

June 3, 2016 by  
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When most of us hear the name L’Oréal, we think of makeup and hair products, not tech innovation. That may soon be changing . Many don’t realize it, but the cosmetics giant has been pouring its efforts in recent years into celebrating and supporting women in science and running its very own technology incubator. Now, those efforts seem to be coming to fruition as the company unveils its first wearable device , a skin patch designed to help prevent cancer. Named ” My UV Patch ,” the device is a wearable skin patch just a few centimeters in size and half the thickness of a human hair. The sticky, transparent film is meant to be worn for several days, absorbing sunlight whenever the wearer goes outside. The adhesive is loaded with light-sensitive dyes that change color when exposed to UV light, so it allows the wearer to see if they’re being exposed to too many damaging UV rays over time. Related: L’Oreal to begin 3D-printing human skin The color changes can be hard to decode, which is why the patch also comes with an Android or iOS app , which uses a mobile device’s camera to scan the patch, compare it to the user’s baseline skin tone, and then tracks how much sun the users have been exposed to over time. Since the patch is looking at long-term exposure to the sun, it isn’t intended to serve as a warning when the time comes to reapply sunscreen . The patch will be completely free and is set to launch in 16 different countries worldwide sometime this summer. Via IFLScience Photos via L’Oreal and Shutterstock   Save

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L’Oral’s wearable patch changes color to warn against skin cancer

Super strong graphene could revolutionize battery power by extracting hydrogen from thin air

December 26, 2014 by  
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Graphene , the first two-dimensional crystal known to man, could be the key to stronger, longer lasting batteries. Similar in atomic structure to the graphite found in pencils, graphene has properties you won’t find in any writing implement. It’s 200 times stronger than steel, more than one million times thinner than a human hair, and is a highly conductive material on the molecular level. On top of all that, it is capable of extracting hydrogen from the atmosphere, which could reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Read the rest of Super strong graphene could revolutionize battery power by extracting hydrogen from thin air Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “sustainable energy” , Andrew Geim , battery technology , battery technology graphene , graphene , graphene battery , graphene technology , graphene uses , hydrogen battery , Kostya Novoselov , Manchester University , Manchester University battery , mobile electric generator , renewable energy

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Sandia Creates World’s Smallest Single Nanowire Battery

December 13, 2010 by  
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A team led by Sandia National Laboratories ‘ researcher Jianyu Huang has succeeded in creating the world’s smallest battery at a research facility belonging to the Department of Energy. The battery is in fact so small that it was formed inside a transmission electron microscope and consists of a single nanowire (as the battery’s anode) which is one seven-thousandth the thickness of a human hair ! Read the rest of Sandia Creates World’s Smallest Single Nanowire Battery http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery , battery lithiation , battery research , Jianyu Huang , lithiation , lithium ion battery , nanowire battery , smallest battery , SnO2 , tin oxide , tin oxide nanowire battery

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Sandia Creates World’s Smallest Single Nanowire Battery

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