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

Read it at Phys.org

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less