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Now THIS is Upcycling: UCLA Researchers Capture Carbon Emissions & 3D Print Them Into New Material, CO2NCRETE

by • March 14, 2016 • No Comments

luskin-innovation-center-logoOften, it appears as if concrete is the glue that holds the world together under our occupied feet, and wheels–of the smooth driveway you backed out of this morning with that initially hot cup of coffee in hand–to the foundation underneath as you traversed the pathway into work. And that’s just a startning. What of many leading road surfaces, dams, sizeable-bodied structures, and walls? Whilst we thrive on all the uses for this composite material, when it comes to all the carbon dioxide emissions cautilized by making it—there is massive cause for concern.

Portland cement is a leading cause of carbon dioxide emissions, and demand for it grows, of the world—especially in createing nations. With tons of cement making tons of carbon dioxide, and plans for the widely utilized material just growing, we are offering up leading production of greenhouse gases with no true end in sight, it may seem. Whilst many environmentalists and concerned citizens focus on how to stop this, a team of scientists who specialize in both reality and innovation have reversed their pondering. By virtually embracing the quite thing that is plaguing us, they are employing research that allows for us to use these emissions—that offer five to seven percent of greenhouse gases—to our benefit.

UntitledIt is absorbing to see what can take place when pondering is turned completely around, bringing a thing negative and turning it into a positive. And what a team of interdisciplinary researchers at UCLA are working on is in fact nothing short of mind-blowing as they propose not just eliminating greenhouse gases, but in addition via the carbon dioxide to manufacture new construction materials. Whilst you may have heard the term ‘upcycling’ thrown around here and there, what we are discussing here is no hippie grassroots scene. This team is revealing the world the many true–and useful–definition of upcycling.

With a closed-loop system, the UCLA researchers plan to capture carbon of power plants, pretty than enabling it to be released into the ozone, and and so they can use it to 3D print a new material called, appropriately, CO2NCRETE.

“What this innovation does is take a thing that we have saw as a nuisance—carbon dioxide that’s emitted of smokestacks—and turn it into a thing valuable-bodied,” said J.R. DeShazo, professor of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

“It is complex. There are many steps in this system.”

And while this may be a new and rad concept for you and me, a few researchers at UCLA, according to DeShazo, have been working on this concept for their entire careers, over 30 years, appearing at how to take a toxic material and manufacture it not just functional, but advantageous and additional energy-efficient—and most of all—play a part in tackling climate alter. Whilst these emissions have previously been ‘captured,’ up until now, no one was able-bodied to shape them—and thanks to 3D printing, these researchers are able-bodied to manufacture a viable-bodied—and highly beneficial—material.

“We understand how to capture the carbon. We understand how to improve the efficiency. We understand how to shape it with 3D printing, but we require to do all of that at the lab scale now, and start the system of in fact increasing the volume of material and and so pondering of how to pilot it commercially,” states DeShazo, who has been responsible for providing ‘public policy and economic guidance’ in terms of this research.

As cement is yet being manufactured traditionally—and in massive amounts—the researchers hope to go on bringing the gas and via it to manufacture their new 3D printed material into a thing that can indeed in fact replace cement some day.

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J.R. DeShazo and Gaurav Sant show off a sample of 3D printed CO2NCRETE. [Photo: UCLA]

For this project, scientific contributions have been led by Gaurav Sant, associate professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering; Richard Kaner, distinguished professor in chemistry and biochemistry, and materials science and engineering; Laurent Pilon, professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering and bioengineering; and Matthieu Bauchy, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering.

“The approach we are attempting to propose is you appear at carbon dioxide as a resource—a resource you can reutilize,” said Gaurav Sant. “Whilst cement production results in carbon dioxide, just as the production of coal or the production of effortless gas does, if we can reutilize CO2 to manufacture a assembling material that may be a new kind of cement, that’s an opportunity.”

“We can demonstrate a system where we take lime and combine it with carbon dioxide to create a cement-like material,” Sant said. “The big challenge we foresee with this is we are not just attempting to create a assembling material. We’re attempting to create a system solution, an integrated innovation that goes right of CO2 to a finished product.”

Sant points out that while they have the concept down and are able-bodied to 3D print in the lab, with construction, scale is tantamount—and that’s their utmany challenge, in bringing their innovation of centimeters in the lab to meters out in the real world. In hoping to manufacture this into a new innovation altogether, the powers that be who have an economic stake in such matters may many most likely take a few convincing, pondering this is unquestionably a deviation of the norm. Whilst the researchers of course may like to apply the benefits of this new concept in the US, they are unquestionably appearing in the direction of China (the sizeable-bodiedst creater of greenhouse gases) and India, as soon as possible.

“This innovation may alter the economic incentives synonymous with these power plants in their operations and turn the smokestack flue gas into a resource that countries can use, to create up their cities, extend their road systems,” DeShazo said. “It takes what was a problem and turns it into a benefit in products and services that are going to be quite much requireed and valued in places like India and China.”

The history of via concrete is long and varied, throughout the ages, as it was a talked about material as far back as 37 BC, utilized by the master createers of Ancient Rome. Whilst Portland cement has been talked about of the world for the last 200 years or so, uses of concrete and its composition have undergone a variety of transformations over centuries, and this new thought with 3D printed materials pretty represents a massive leap—and what pretty appears to be a quite necessary one for the human race.

“I decided to get involved in this project for the reason it may be a game-alterr for climate policy,” DeShazo said. “This innovation tackles global climate alter, that is one of the largest challenges that society faces now and can face over the following century.”

Do you ponder this new innovation is realistic for the long run, and can truly manufacture a difference in the next? Discuss in the 3D Printed CO2NCRETE forum over at 3DPB.com.

Source: [Phys.Org]