Articles With "wood" Tag

Supercapacitors Made of Trees

process

Supercapacitors are high-power energy storage devices with far-reaching industrial applications, such as electronics, automobiles and aviation. However one of the main reasons why they have not been adopted more widely is the high cost and the difficulty of producing high-quality carbon electrodes needed to build them. But a team of scientists at Oregon State University has made a discovery that could change all that. They found a process by which cellulose heated in a furnace in the presence of ammonia can be turned into fundamental building blocks for supercapacitors. Cellulose is Earth’s most abundant organic polymer and one of the key components of trees. In other words, trees could one day be instrumental in creating high-tech energy storage devices.

The approach discovered by the scientists is capable of producing nitrogen-doped, nanoporous carbon membranes, which form the electrodes of a supercapacitor, in a cost-effective and rapid way. Furthermore, the only byproduct of this process is methane, which can be used immediately as fuel, making the method very environmentally friendly.

The carbon membranes produced with this method are extraordinarily thin at the nano-scale, meaning that one gram of them can have a surface area of nearly 2,000 square meters. This is what makes them so useful in supercapacitors. The process used to create them is basically a one step reaction, which is very fast and cheap to perform.

The scientists themselves were quite surprised at their discovery. As Xiulei (David) Ji, an assistant professor of chemistry in the OSU College of Science and a team member, put it: “For the first time we’ve proven that you can react cellulose with ammonia and create these N-doped nanoporous carbon membranes. It’s surprising that such a basic reaction was not reported before. Not only are there industrial applications, but this opens a whole new scientific area, studying reducing gas agents for carbon activation.”

Supercapacitors are needed primarily for devices where rapid power storage and short, but powerful energy release is required. These include computers and consumer electronics, but can also be used to power cranes, forklifts, and even defibrillators. They can also be used to open emergency slides on an aircraft and for improving the efficiency of hybrid electric cars. Supercapacitors are also capable of capturing energy that might otherwise be wasted, while their energy storage capabilities may also be used to assist the power flow from alternative energy systems, like, for example, wind energy.

Finding a cheap and environmentally benign way of producing these devices is, needless to say, a great breakthrough in the field.

Upcycle House Built From Used Shipping Containers

ext

The Danish architecture firm Lendager Arkitekter recently completed the experimental Upcycle House in Nyborg, Denmark. The goal with Upcycle House was seeing if carbon emissions of a home can be reduced through the use of recycled and upcycled building materials during the construction process. The end result was the reduction of CO2 emissions by 86% compared to a benchmark house. Upcycling is a sort of a next step in the recycling process, namely using recycled products and turning them into new materials or products of higher quality and greater value. In the case of Upcycle House, this reduced the need for new production and therefore reduced the CO2 emissions.
Read more »

Unique Home Made From Used Car Parts

ext

Architects Karl Wanaselja and Cate Leger of Leger Wanaselja Architecture studio built for themselves a one-of-a-kind home in Berkeley, California. The McGee House, as they are calling it is constructed mainly from salvaged car parts and the repurposed waste product called poplar bark. The 2-bedroom house measures 1140 square feet and is the home of the architect couple and their teenage daughter. From the outside, the house is only 14 feet wide, which belies its actual size.
Read more »

Polyhedral Tiny House Makes For a Very Unique Cabin

noa-ext

Architect Jaanus Orgusaar from Estonia has designed a tiny modular house that is also a polyhedral form. This fascinating shape occurs in nature, such as in the molecular build up of diamonds and in honeycombs, and it is quite interesting to see it applied to a house. Jaanus has called his cabin Noa, and it consists of twelve identical rhombic faces setup into a unique three-dimensional form.
Read more »

Sarah House Project Container Home For Sale

ext

It took almost two years for real estate broker and Crossroads volunteer Jeff White to build an affordable home out of recycled shipping containers. A lot of opposition came from the architects he approached to help him with the plans, though there were also quite a few bureaucratic obstacles to overcome to get the necessary permits. But now the Sarah container home is finally built and ready for occupancy. Jeff was inspired to build the home after seeing the makeshift dwelling of a homeless San Francisco artist named Sarah, and he named his creation after her.
Read more »

A Cabin in the Woods that is Really an RV

ESCAPEPrimary

Judging from the photo above you would probably never guess that this lovely cabin is actually an RV, and that it can be towed to pretty much anywhere on a whim. The timber-clad Escape cottage measures 400 square feet, and is the right weight and size to be considered an RV. It was designed as a portable house on wheels, but can also easily become a permanent home for the owners.
Read more »

Page 6 of 13« First...«45678»10...Last »


Popular Topics on Jetson Green