Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have created a revolutionary new solar paint that can be used to produce endless amounts of clean energy. The innovative paint draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. As a result, hydrogen can be captured as a clean fuel source.
Inhabitat features a brilliant way of using waste plastics polluting the worlds oceans, called RePlast. Developed by the US-based ByFusion, the approach compresses mixed plastics from the seas and turns it into construction blocks. As well as cleaning the oceans, the approach doesn’t require splitting the plastics into different types and generates c. 95% less greenhouse gases than concrete blocks.
Engadget reports on the development of new solar cell technology that could allow solar panels to generate power from both sunlight and rain, by incorporating a thin layer of graphene. The approach has some way to go before becoming viable but it could encourage wider instalation of solar panels in climates with more variable weather.
Phys.org reports on a process proposed by a multi-disciplinary team at UCLA to capture and utilise CO2 from power plant smokestacks and then use the gas to create a new building material like cement – CO2NCRETE.
Inhabitat features eco-friendly bricks made by BioMason from a mixture of sand and bacteria, that could have a huge, positive impact on the environment. Not only are they produced more quickly and with less energy and CO2 emissions than regular bricks, they can also soak up pollution from the atmosphere.
Inhabitat states: “Traditional bricks, which are also made from sand and binding agents, have to be “fired” for three to five days, a process which generates approximately 800 million tons of carbon emissions each year. BioMason’s biobricks take only two or three days to ‘grow’ and eliminate the emissions altogether. What’s more, Dosier says her company’s bricks can even absorb pollution, making them an active agent in the war against climate change.”
Inhabitat reports on research in Singapore that shows a way to recycle paper waste into an important and high demand material used for building insulation, called aerogels. Per Inhabitat:
“Aerogels are typically made from silica, metal oxides, and polymers, but a paper-based formula is a great deal more eco-friendly and cost-effective. Recycling paper into a highly sought after substance like aerogels could prove to be a useful method for reducing landfill waste, while replacing hazardous chemicals often used in aerogel manufacturing.”
Springwise highlights an innovation in that mainstay of modern construction – concrete. Cortex Composites has developed water-activated rolls of concrete that are quicker to install, stronger, cheaper and less resource intensive than standard concrete production.