What if the steel lamp was the answer to our energy woes?
This is the thought that drove a team of engineers from the SteelLight Emmitance group to invent the light-emitting steel lantern that is now widely used in many parts of the world.
It is based on the work of scientists from the University of California-Davis and MIT who have been studying light-absorbing carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are found in nature in many kinds of living cells, but not in plants.
These nanotube-based materials are capable of trapping light in a closed cell, where the amount of light reflected by the cell is reduced.
“This makes them ideal for the production of light-reflecting structures that are light-efficient but light-tight,” said Robert Kramarz, professor of engineering at UC-Davis.
In the study, Kram, who led the team, and his team have developed a material that captures only light reflected off the surface of a cell.
“The CNTs absorb a lot of energy,” Kram said.
“It’s a material with excellent energy storage properties and it’s easy to use.”
By capturing the light from the surface, the CNT material can absorb about 90 percent of the light energy that would be absorbed by the glass or plastic of an ordinary light bulb.
That means that the Cnt materials are ideal for use in a range of applications, from light-blocking curtains to solar panels and other solar-power technologies.
The CNT-based lantern can be used in a variety of applications.
The lantern can provide illumination to people, but it can also be used to help prevent or control wildfires, to illuminate the interior of buildings, or to reduce the amount and type of carbon dioxide emitted from power plants.
Kram and his group were also able to develop a design that could be made into a light-reducing filter.
By using CNT nanotubers, the researchers were able to make a filter that would absorb up to 75 percent of carbon monoxide emissions in the presence of sunlight, while the carbon dioxide would be eliminated from the air by using a chemical reaction with the Cndnm nanotubs.
“We found that we could use these nanotuents to make nanoscale filtration systems that are highly efficient,” Krams said.
To do this, the team took advantage of a chemical process known as photolysis.
In photolytic processes, carbon atoms are first separated from oxygen, and then they are chemically reduced.
In this process, oxygen atoms are replaced with the carbon-oxygen bond, which is a type of bond that can also hold carbon monoesters, such as carbon dioxide, and can also act as a catalyst.
These carbon monosers are then broken down to form compounds that are able to form the desired molecular structure.
When these molecules are combined with water, they are converted to carbon dioxide and methane, which can then be used as a catalytic agent in the production and storage of light.
Krams and his colleagues also found that the carbon nanodecorps, which form the outer layer of the CnT material, were able not only to absorb light but also to trap light.
“There are other photonic materials that are not as efficient as this,” Kams said.
For example, they have found that they are not able to capture as much light as the C2C2 nanotUB.
However, by combining this photonic material with the nanotudic materials, the scientists were able use this phototutuent to trap only about 5 percent of light that would have been absorbed by an ordinary glass or CNT light bulb, which was about the same amount of energy that the normal light bulb would have absorbed.
“What’s amazing is that we can do it without compromising the energy efficiency,” Klamarz said.
The researchers also demonstrated that they could use this technology to capture energy from the sunlight that would otherwise be emitted from a power plant.
The carbon nanostructures they have developed are similar to CNT fibers made from carbon dioxide in that they have an extremely low amount of surface area.
This makes them extremely stable, but also makes them very good for use as filtrators and reflectors in the solar panels, because they have excellent surface area and low energy absorption.
“In the end, we think the CNNT fibers will be a big boon for solar energy,” said Kram.
“They will be useful in a wide range of solar applications, not just in the commercial sector.
It will make solar panels more efficient, and it will make them much more energy efficient.”
This article originally appeared in Wired magazine.