‘Game changing’ graphene-reinforced concrete is stronger and better for the planet

May 3, 2018 by  
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Add concrete to the list of things graphene can improve. Scientists at the University of Exeter ‘s Center for Graphene Science developed a new technique to incorporate graphene in concrete production with the help of nanoengineering technology — and the resulting material was not only over twice as strong as concretes we have today, but “drastically reduced the carbon footprint of conventional concrete production methods.” Is there anything graphene can’t do? It can boost both the strength and durability of concrete. The resulting University of Exeter composite material is four times as water resistant as existing concretes, and, according to professor Monica Craciun , “by including graphene we can reduce the amount of materials required to make concrete by around 50 percent — leading to a significant reduction of 446 kilograms per tonne of the carbon emissions .” Related: MIT just discovered a way to mass produce graphene in long rolls The research, published in late April in the journal Advanced Functional Materials , pioneers a novel, low cost technique that is, according to the university, compatible with requirements for modern, large-scale manufacturing. The composite material can be utilized right on building sites. Craciun described the new green concrete as an absolute game-changer. She said its strength, durability, and water resistance make it “uniquely suitable for construction in areas which require maintenance work and are difficult to be accessed.” Lead author Dimitar Dimov, a PhD student at the university, described the research as a first but crucial step “in the right direction to make a more sustainable construction industry for the future.” He said in the statement, “Finding greener ways to build is a crucial step forward in reducing carbon emissions around the world and so help protect our environment as much as possible.” + University of Exeter + Advanced Functional Materials Images via Depositphotos and Derek Torsani on Unsplash

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‘Game changing’ graphene-reinforced concrete is stronger and better for the planet

This dreamy cluster of cabins houses light-filled live/work spaces in Hokkaido

May 3, 2018 by  
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Japanese architect Makoto Suzuki has carved out a slice of live/work paradise with this cluster of cabins in Hokkaido . While each mono-pitched structure appears to stand independently, the timber-clad buildings are interconnected. The project, called the House in Tokiwa, also achieves harmony with the landscape through the use of natural materials and low-profile structures that embrace nature at every turn. Located near Sapporo, House in Tokiwa comprises a series of structures of varying heights clad in vertical timber planks. Mono-pitched roofs top the taller volumes, while greenery covers the roofs of a few of the lower-profile structures. Large windows frame views of the surroundings while the relatively remote location mitigates privacy concerns. Outdoor terraces also reinforce the connection with nature. Related: Tidy Japanese home mimics the greenhouse effect to keep warm The home is divided into two roughly equal-sized clustered halves connected by a centrally located bathroom. The main living areas are set in a cluster that wraps around a small courtyard planted with lilac trees. This cluster contains a two-story villa for Suzuki’s father, a kitchen and dining area with full-height windows, the master bedroom, and an office for Suzuki’s wife that sits above the living room. The majority of the workspaces are housed in the second cluster, which includes a meeting room, bathrooms, and two spacious work areas, one of which is used by sculptor Takenobu Igarashi . + Makoto Suzuki Via Dezeen Images via Koji Sakai

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This dreamy cluster of cabins houses light-filled live/work spaces in Hokkaido

Scientists made the coldest liquid water ever – and it’s crazy weird

January 9, 2018 by  
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Water freezes at zero degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, right? While that’s water’s freezing point, under certain conditions liquid water can be supercooled – and still be liquid . Two groups of scientists recently uncovered new details about supercooled water, showing there could still be a lot we don’t know about this fairly common substance. Water just got weirder. We know supercooled water drops can exist naturally in the planet’s atmosphere , at temperatures as low as negative 35 degrees Celsius, according to Gizmodo . It isn’t easy for scientists to measure the temperature of supercooled water droplets, but a team led by Goethe University Frankfurt pioneered a new technique – for drops as small as a micrometer – that shows liquid water can exist at negative 42.55 degrees Celsius. Their research was published in Physical Review Letters earlier this month, with scientists at institutions in Germany, Italy, France, and Spain contributing. Related: Scientists discover water has not one, but two liquid phases Meanwhile, Stockholm University published other groundbreaking research on supercooled water last month in Science – and here’s where things get really weird. The scientists found that at normal pressure and a temperature of negative 44 degrees Celsius, water “can exist as two distinct liquids with different ways to bind the water molecules. The water can not decide what shape to be in without fluctuating between these two,” per the university’s press release . They explained it’s similar to how we may be unable to make up our minds on a decision and go back and forth over different options. They discovered many of water’s weird properties “reach a maximum at negative 44 degrees Celsius.” Supercooled water may be a cool topic, but why should you care? Physics said in their synopsis of the Goethe University Frankfurt research, “Knowing when water freezes and when it stays liquid at these low temperatures could improve understanding of atmospheric ice formation and help researchers develop more reliable climate models.” Via Stockholm University , Physics , and Gizmodo Images via chuttersnap on Unsplash and Stockholm University

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Scientists made the coldest liquid water ever – and it’s crazy weird

Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi 3D-prints masterpieces with light

July 7, 2015 by  
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3D printing has already found a wide range of uses, but printing with light? 3D printers have been used to create prosthetic limbs , meat , and entire two story homes . They are even capable of producing new 3D printers! But 3D printing does not conform to the limits of the physical world. Architect Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi is pioneering a new technique to replace filament traditionally used in 3D printing with LED lights. Through the use of video or long exposure photography, Kalsi captures his 3D-printed illumination masterpieces. Read the rest of Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi 3D-prints masterpieces with light Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , 3D printing , artwork , futuristic art , hologram , hologram art , holographic art , LED art , led artwork , light art , light artwork

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Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi 3D-prints masterpieces with light

New analysis shows fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania drinking water

May 8, 2015 by  
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The true consequences of fracking are finally being shown, after a test found fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania homes that are located near a reported well-pad leak. The New York Times reports that a team of scientists conducted an analysis using a new technique to determine that a chemical compound known as 2-BE was present in homes near the fracking well. The compound is an “unidentified mixture of organic contaminants, both commonly seen in the flowback water from Marcellus shale activity.” Read the rest of New analysis shows fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania drinking water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: drinking water contaminated by fracking , fracking chemicals found in drinking water , fracking contaminates drinking water , pennsylvania fracking , pennsylvania fracking chemicals water

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New analysis shows fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania drinking water

Astronauts need caffeine too, and now they can make it an espresso

May 8, 2015 by  
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If you were waiting to go to the International Space Station until they had good coffee, well, NOW you can go. Like any good Italian, Samantha Cristoforetti is fond of her morning cuppa. In particular, she’s partial to her morning espresso . But when you work on the space station, that can be a little hard to come by, until now. Cristoforetti isn’t just an astronaut and the first Italian woman to orbit the Earth, she’s also the first space barista. But making the the shot of espresso  was no mere lark. It was actually a study in specialized physics. Until now, physicists were unsure just how a highly pressurized and piping hot liquid would react in the near weightless environment of the International Space Station. A specialized espresso maker, called the ISSpresso was designed by Argotec, an engineering and software firm in Turin as well as the Italian coffee producer Lavazza. Making a proper espresso—a singular alchemy of high temperature, water pressure and perfectly tamped coffee—is difficult enough to master on earth. Microgravity conditions made the task still more complicated, and Argotec took two years to work out how to do it… but the force of coffee was strong with this one. Via The New York Times Images via NASA Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: coffee in space , espresso in space , italian astronaut , samantha cristoforetti , space station espresso , woman italian astronaut

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Astronauts need caffeine too, and now they can make it an espresso

Researchers develop new technique to develop energy generating clothes

January 17, 2011 by  
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Eco Factor: Nanotubes infused with powdered boron and magnesium to produce electricity for portable electronic devices. A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have developed a new technique to spin yarns out of powders such as boron and magnesium

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Researchers develop new technique to develop energy generating clothes

Researchers create edible crystals to store hydrogen efficiently

September 4, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: New storage technique enables easy storage of hydrogen for fuel-cell cars.

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Researchers create edible crystals to store hydrogen efficiently

Solar Projects Battling for Water

October 28, 2009 by  
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Construction of renewable energy projects has revealed some serious environmental issues that will have to be dealt with as we speed toward a clean energy future.  We recently wrote about the conflict between land conservation efforts and renewable energy projects in deserts out west.  Land that is ideal for solar energy production is also pristine land in need of protection. In California, a similar conflict is arising between solar projects and water conservation.  Solar farms demand a lot of water, a resource that is stretched very thin in the arid areas where they’re being developed.  A large solar farm can use upwards of 500 million gallons of water a year for cooling purposes and there are currently 35 big projects slated for development in California desert

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Solar Projects Battling for Water

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