MIT researchers discover silk holds the key to vastly improved filtration

July 21, 2016 by  
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MIT and Tufts University researchers found silk is good for more than clothes, cool furniture , or bulletproof vests . They found a way to extract tiny silk building blocks, called nanofibrils, that vastly improve filtration techniques. Others attempted to extract these nanofibers in the past, but largely failed, and the researchers detailed their process to success in a paper published recently in the journal Nano Letters . These nanofibrils can be made into ” advanced filtration membranes ,” according to the researchers. In their paper, the scientists explained their four-step process, which involved exfoliating the silk, extracting nanofibrils via ultrasonic waves, and vacuum filtration. They utilized silk fibers made by domesticated silkworms. Related: Groundbreaking affordable, paper-thin filter removes viruses from water The new membranes are not only more effective for filtration, they’re more environmentally friendly. Used filters biodegrade, resulting in ” no lasting impact ,” according to MIT . The nanofibrils membranes are less expensive too: one piece costs between five and 51 cents, while a comparable piece of commercial membrane costs $1.20. The new membranes are very flexible and don’t dissolve in water, crucial for effective water filtration. The nanofibrils are also ” negatively charged at neutral pH ” which means they can snare positively charged molecules. MIT postdoc student Shengjie Ling said , “There has been a renewed focus recently on developing these types of ultrathin filtration membranes…The challenge has always been to create these new ultrathin and low-cost devices while retaining mechanical strength and good separation performance. Cast silk fibroin membranes aren’t an option, because they do not have porous structure and dissolve in water if not pretreated. We knew there had to be a better way.” The new membranes were designed in a collaboration between several different departments; material scientists and civil, computational, and biomedical engineers all worked together on the research. The new membranes could be used in research, food manufacturing, and to filter water . Via MIT News Images via the MIT/Tufts University researchers and Ed Schipul on Flickr

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MIT researchers discover silk holds the key to vastly improved filtration

The Uji Shower Head Lets You Know When You are Taking Too Long in the Bathroom

August 26, 2013 by  
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Standing under a relaxing stream of hot water, it can be easy to forget how long you are taking in the shower . Time becomes warped in a combination of suds and steam, making it difficult to keep tabs on how much water and electricity is being consumed. The Uji shower head lets bathers know when they are dawdling in the bathroom by using LED lights that gradually turn from green to red. Average shower time clocks in around seven minutes, giving the user about a minute to finish up and rinse off. Read the rest of The Uji Shower Head Lets You Know When You are Taking Too Long in the Bathroom Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , bathroom , brett andler , Department of Energy , lawrenece berkeley national laboratory , LED lights , npr , sam woolf , shower , symmons , Tufts University , tyler wilson , uji shower head , water conservation        

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The Uji Shower Head Lets You Know When You are Taking Too Long in the Bathroom

Scientists Create World’s Tiniest Electric Motor from a Single Molecule

September 5, 2011 by  
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Chemists at Massachusetts’ Tufts University recently shattered a Guinness World Record as they unveiled the world’s tiniest motor. The teeny electric motor is made from a single molecule, and it measures an incredible one nanometer in width. The device could be used to create a whole new breed of microscopic devices that could revolutionize the medical and engineering industries. Read the rest of Scientists Create World’s Tiniest Electric Motor from a Single Molecule Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: guiness book of world records , Massachusetts , single molecule motor , Tufts University , worlds tiniest motor

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Scientists Create World’s Tiniest Electric Motor from a Single Molecule

Interview: Ruud Visser Transforms Old Churches and Water Towers Into Incredible Modern Homes

September 5, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Interview: Ruud Visser Transforms Old Churches and Water Towers Into Incredible Modern Homes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive reuse , Church House , Eco Architecture , Green Building , green design , green renovation , House from renovated church , house from renovated water tower , house in a church , Netherlands , Recycled Materials , Ruud Visser , ruud visser architects , ruud visser interview , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , water tower house , Water Tower Meerkerk

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Interview: Ruud Visser Transforms Old Churches and Water Towers Into Incredible Modern Homes

SKhy Bus Is A Carbon-Negative Solar & Wastewater Fueled Shuttle Bus Of The Future

September 5, 2011 by  
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Portuguese designer Alan Monteiro has illustrated his vision of green transportation : an aerodynamic carbon swallowing, wastewater recycling, oxygen releasing, unmanned shuttle bus concept called SKhy. While the actual build of this breathing bus may be a long way off, its ambitiously layered clean tech design is good fodder for green dreams. Read the rest of SKhy Bus Is A Carbon-Negative Solar & Wastewater Fueled Shuttle Bus Of The Future Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aerodynamic , alan monteiro , carbon dioxide , carbon negative , carbon reduction , cheap energy , cleantech , Climate Change , CO2 , eco design , eco habitat , eco-conscious , eco-friendly , ecosystem , electric , electric vehicle , emissions , emissions reduction , Environment , environmental design , ev , EV concept , green design , green infrastructure , green living , green transportation , hydrogen fuel cell , hydrogen fueled , infrastructure , Pollution , Recycled aluminum , reduce , robotics , skhy , skhy bus , skhy bus concept , Solar Cell , Solar Power , sustainable design , sustainable living , unmanned vehicle , wastewater , wastewater to hydrogen

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SKhy Bus Is A Carbon-Negative Solar & Wastewater Fueled Shuttle Bus Of The Future

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