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Crossposted from ePluribus Media.

Talk about the "world of tomorrow, today" - take a look at some of the technology that is up-and-coming as part of the green tech revolution:1

  • Samsung Unveils Solar-Powered Zero Energy Transparent TV, by Lea Bogdan, 03/08/11

  • Super Batteries Made From 'Frozen Smoke' May be Here Soon, by Timon Singh, 03/02/11
    More information about aerogels, taken from one of the articles linked in the blurb (from the Times Online):
    In 2002 Aspen Aerogel, a company created by Nasa, produced a stronger and more flexible version of the gel. It is now being used to develop an insulated lining in space suits for the first manned mission to Mars, scheduled for 2018.

    Mark Krajewski, a senior scientist at the company, believes that an 18mm layer of aerogel will be sufficient to protect astronauts from temperatures as low as -130C. “It is the greatest insulator we’ve ever seen,” he said.

    Aerogel is also being tested for future bombproof housing and armour for military vehicles. In the laboratory, a metal plate coated in 6mm of aerogel was left almost unscathed by a direct dynamite blast.

    It also has green credentials. Aerogel is described by scientists as the “ultimate sponge”, with millions of tiny pores on its surface making it ideal for absorbing pollutants in water.

    Kanatzidis has created a new version of aerogel designed to mop up lead and mercury from water. Other versions are designed to absorb oil spills.

If you think that's fascinating, get a look at some of the other articles linked to when you pull up the 'Frozen Smoke' piece about aerogels:

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Seriously fascinating stuff, with a lot of potential ranging from robots to medicine, to areas I haven't even begun to think of.

And, of course, variants of such tech could be perfect for a couple of sci-fi works I've got in process, a few of which I'm doing with friends.

What do you think? Does the promise of the new technology sound too good to be true? Do you think you could come up with some applications for some of the technology?

Let's discuss in comments below...


 

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Footnotes

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1 Due to the extremely short piece, I won't quote excerpts. I can, however, include YouTube videos where appropriate.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Really cool stuff. But, when...? (11+ / 0-)

    When will it be commercially viable? When will be commonplace - or will it?

    I don't even know if the mfg process is one that, in and of itself, may be environmentally unfriendly - "at what cost, renewable" (or "at what cost, 'green tech'") could be an important question.

    Anybody out there got any potential "gotchas"?

    How about any potential applications not already referenced - what other ways do you think these technologies may help us achieve a greener, more efficient and sustainable future?

    And -- at what cost? (I guess you should define what "cost" means for you in that context, too...'cuz it's not a simple estimate or definition.)

  •  solar water purifier (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZAP210, GreyHawk, trivium, petral, Ana Thema

    I like this one. Simple, scalable, saves lives and I want one even though I live in modern city with regular water.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:12:27 PM PDT

    •  Wow - great idea, easy to propagate! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ana Thema, G2geek, jgnyc

      From the link:

      The Solarball, developed as Mr Jonathan Liow’s final year project during his Bachelor of Industrial Design, can produce up to three litres of clean water every day. The spherical unit absorbs sunlight and causes dirty water contained inside to evaporate. As evaporation occurs, contaminants are separated from the water, generating drinkable condensation. The condensation is collected and stored, ready for drinking.

      Simplicity is a key part of elegance in both form and function.

      Thanks for sharing this, jgnyc!

  •  Wooster lab discovery excites researchers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, Ana Thema

    "Misfortune shows those who are not really friends." Aristotle

    by JugOPunch on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:57:10 PM PDT

    •  Holy crap - that's incredible! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JugOPunch, Ana Thema

      From the link:

      The material — it is called Osorb — has big economic potential because it may prove useful in cleaning up oil spills, aquifers contaminated with toxic chemicals, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, waste waters from oil and gas drilling and other industrial wastes.

      The material hates water but sucks hydrocarbons like oil from the environment, leaving behind water, salts and other harmless materials with no trace of itself.

      My only potential concern/thought - once it absorbs the hydrocarbons, how heavy is it?  And how fragile?

      Once those factors are known, varying sizes and methods of retrieval could be used to define the best Osorb ...?...wafer? ball? brick...?... for a given application.

      I wonder how expensive it is to produce...and how resultant "used" Osorbs would be dealt with...? If the toxic components could be easily removed for further refinement/reprocessing/breakdown, then it sounds like a really revolutionary discovery

  •  LCDs are transparent when manufactured (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ana Thema, GreyHawk, G2geek

    The panels themselves are made up of sheets of glass with invisible transistors and wiring to control each pixel. They have to be made opaque, usually with a cold cathode fluorescent backlight and a reflector/diffuser all enclosed in a case.

    Some projectors have (had?) transparent LCDs to display the image to be projected from a laptop or other computer.

    We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

    by badger on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 09:12:31 PM PDT

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