What if the answers to some of biggest problems can be solved with some of the smallest units of measurement. One person seems to think so and he has assembled a team of 180 researchers who, among other things, are exploring ways of generating energy cheaply and without emissions.
The seemingly miraculous discovery comes from what is known as the carbon nanotube (CNTs). Carbon is commonly thought of as black but it is actually transparent and pliable, The state of carbon can be changed with a tiny amount of electricity so that it can either reflect or let in light.
According to this researcher, infrared light can be converted into electrons and stored much better than in traditional batteries. This technology enables people to hold an electron until you need it than release it.
The power plant of tomorrow is no power plant. Power can be produced right where you are, without the need for a transmission grid.
This technology also has important implications for water scarcity. We are already harvesting water from the oceans but as we face diminishing supplies we will increasingly be forced to turn to our oceans. The problem is that current desalination requires vast amounts of energy.
Presently, global CNT production capacity exceeds several thousand tons. There are diverse commercial interest in CNTs ranging from rechargeable batteries to water filters. CNT yarns and sheets already have promising performance for applications including supercapacitors, actuators, and lightweight electromagnetic shields.
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