Valuable Materials and Fuels from Trash

Dean Sigler Announcements, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The Earth we inhabit struggles in an ever-tightening race between being overcome with its own trash and cleaning up after itself.  Two stunning approaches to turning trash and waste into valuable materials and fuels could help us win that race. Graphene Dreams in a Flash Bigthink.com leads with the news that, “Graphene typically costs $200,000 per ton. Now, scientists can make it from trash.”  This “insanely useful” product is difficult to produce, making it a luxury for many applications – until now. Graphene is insanely useful, but very difficult to produce — until now.  Dr. James Tour and his Rice University students have created a way to produce graphene in large quantities in a literal flash.  This technique, Flash Joule …

Rice Defeats Dendrites

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Dr. James Tour of Rice University makes news regularly with different ways of making better batteries.  His latest, a thin-film coating of carbon nanotubes, will enable lithium metal batteries to potentially achieve their full potential. According to the Tour Laboratory, that potential is worth considering.  “Lithium metal charges much faster and holds about 10 times more energy by volume than the lithium-ion electrodes found in just about every electronic device, including cellphones and electric cars.”  This promise is offset by problems with dendrite growth, the intrusion of tooth-like projections from the surface of the anode metal.  If these growths expand far enough, they poke through the battery’s electrolyte and severely limit battery life.  Worst of all, if the dendrites reach …