Turning Greenhouse Gases Into Green Building Materials
The University of Newcastle plans to build a plant that will test a method of converting carbon emissions to inert "bricks" that could eventually be used in construction.
What's the Latest Development?
Based on the success of smaller lab experiments, the University of Newcastle has announced plans to build a plant that will allow researchers to pilot on a larger scale a new method of artificial carbon capture and storage. This method mimics natural mineral carbonation by combining carbon dioxide with certain minerals to create carbonate rock, an inert solid that can be used in a number of different applications, including construction. According to researcher Bodgan Dlugogorski, the plant's outputs will help determine how mineral carbonation compares with other methods of carbon dioxide storage in terms of both costs and environmental impact. It's expected to be operational by 2017.
What's the Big Idea?
One common method of artificial carbon capture and storage involves injecting emissions deep into the Earth, which doesn't result in a potentially usable product. Natural carbon sinks, such as oceans and forests, use mineral carbonation to transform carbon dioxide into usable products, but the process takes a very long time to complete. Researcher Eric Kennedy says their challenge with the new plant "is to speed up [the natural] process to prevent CO2 emissions accumulating in the air in a cost-effective way."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.
- Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
- Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.
Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.
"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."
- The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
- Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
- Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?
- Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
- Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
- Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.