High-quality carbon nanotubes made from carbon dioxide in the air break the manufacturing cost barrier

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Carbon dioxide converted to small-diameter carbon nanotubes grown on a stainless steel surface. (credit: Pint Lab/Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered a technique to cost-effectively convert carbon dioxide from the air into a type of carbon nanotubes that they say is “more valuable than any other material ever made.”

Carbon nanotubes are super-materials that can be stronger than steel and more conductive than copper. So despite much research, why aren’t they used in applications ranging from batteries to tires?

Answer: The high manufacturing costs and extremely expensive price, according to the researchers.*

The price ranges from $100–200 per kilogram for the “economy class” carbon nanotubes with larger diameters and poorer properties, up to $100,000 per kilogram and above for the “first class” carbon nanotubes — ones with a single wall, the smallest diameters**, and the most amazing properties, Cary Pint, PhD, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Vanderbilt University, explained to KurzweilAI.

A new process for making cost-effective carbon nanotubes

The researchers have demonstrated a new process for creating carbon-nanotube-based material, using carbon dioxide as a feedstock input source.

  • They achieved the smallest-diameter and most valuable CNTs ever reported in the literature for this approach.
  • They used sustainable electrochemical synthesis.***
  • A spinoff, SkyNano LLC, is now doing this with far less cost and energy input than conventional methods for making these materials. “That means as market prices start to change, our technology will survive and the more expensive technologies will get shaken out of the market,” said Pint. “We’re aggressively working toward scaling this process up in a big way.”
  • There are implications for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.****

“One of the most exciting things about what we’ve done is use electrochemistry to pull apart carbon dioxide into elemental constituents of carbon and oxygen and stitch together, with nanometer precision, those carbon atoms into new forms of matter,” said Pint. “That opens the door to being able to generate really valuable products with carbon nanotubes.” These materials, which Pint calls “black gold,” could steer the conversation from the negative impact of emissions to how we can use them in future technology.

“These could revolutionize the world,” he said.

Reference: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces May 1, 2018. Source: Vanderbilt University

* This BCC Research market report has a detailed discussion on carbon nanotube costsGlobal Markets and Technologies for Carbon Nanotubes. Also see Energy requirements,an open-access supplement to the ACS paper.

** “Small-diameter” in this study refers to about 10 nanometers or less. Small-diameter carbon nanotubes include few-walled (about 310 walls), double-walled, and single walled carbon nanotubes. These all have higher economic value because of their enhanced physical properties, broader appeal toward applications, and greater difficulty in synthesis compared to their larger-diameter counterparts. “Larger diameter” carbon nanotubes refer to those with outer diameter generally less than 50 nanometers, since after reaching this diameter, these materials lose the value that the properties in small diameter carbon nanotubes enable for applications.

*** The researchers used mechanisms for controlling electrochemical synthesis of CNTs from the capture and conversion of ambient CO2 in molten salts. Iron catalyst layers are deposited at different thicknesses onto stainless steel to produce cathodes, and atomic layer deposition of Al2O3 (aluminum oxide) is performed on nickel to produce a corrosion-resistant anode. The research team showed that a process called “Ostwald ripening” — where the nanoparticles that grow the carbon nanotubes change in size to larger diameters — is a key contender against producing the infinitely more useful size. The team showed they could partially overcome this by tuning electrochemical parameters to minimize these pesky large nanoparticles.

**** “According to the EPA, the United States alone emits more than 6,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.  Besides being implicated as a contributor to global climate change, these emissions are currently wasted resources that could otherwise be used productively to make useful materials. At SkyNano, we focus on the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into all carbon-based nanomaterials which can be used for a variety of applications. Our technology overcomes cost limitations associated with traditional carbon nanomaterial production and utilizes carbon dioxide as the only direct chemical feedstock.” — SkyNano Technologies

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High-quality carbon nanotubes made from carbon dioxide in the air break the manufacturing cost barrier

https://ift.tt/2KU6EUy

Carbon dioxide converted to small-diameter carbon nanotubes grown on a stainless steel surface. (credit: Pint Lab/Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered a technique to cost-effectively convert carbon dioxide from the air into a type of carbon nanotubes that they say is “more valuable than any other material ever made.”

Carbon nanotubes are super-materials that can be stronger than steel and more conductive than copper. So despite much research, why aren’t they used in applications ranging from batteries to tires?

Answer: The high manufacturing costs and extremely expensive price, according to the researchers.*

The price ranges from $100–200 per kilogram for the “economy class” carbon nanotubes with larger diameters and poorer properties, up to $100,000 per kilogram and above for the “first class” carbon nanotubes — ones with a single wall, the smallest diameters**, and the most amazing properties, Cary Pint, PhD, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Vanderbilt University, explained to KurzweilAI.

A new process for making cost-effective carbon nanotubes

The researchers have demonstrated a new process for creating carbon-nanotube-based material, using carbon dioxide as a feedstock input source.

  • They achieved the smallest-diameter and most valuable CNTs ever reported in the literature for this approach.
  • They used sustainable electrochemical synthesis.***
  • A spinoff, SkyNano LLC, is now doing this with far less cost and energy input than conventional methods for making these materials. “That means as market prices start to change, our technology will survive and the more expensive technologies will get shaken out of the market,” said Pint. “We’re aggressively working toward scaling this process up in a big way.”
  • There are implications for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.****

“One of the most exciting things about what we’ve done is use electrochemistry to pull apart carbon dioxide into elemental constituents of carbon and oxygen and stitch together, with nanometer precision, those carbon atoms into new forms of matter,” said Pint. “That opens the door to being able to generate really valuable products with carbon nanotubes.” These materials, which Pint calls “black gold,” could steer the conversation from the negative impact of emissions to how we can use them in future technology.

“These could revolutionize the world,” he said.

Reference: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces May 1, 2018. Source: Vanderbilt University

* This BCC Research market report has a detailed discussion on carbon nanotube costsGlobal Markets and Technologies for Carbon Nanotubes. Also see Energy requirements,an open-access supplement to the ACS paper.

** “Small-diameter” in this study refers to about 10 nanometers or less. Small-diameter carbon nanotubes include few-walled (about 310 walls), double-walled, and single walled carbon nanotubes. These all have higher economic value because of their enhanced physical properties, broader appeal toward applications, and greater difficulty in synthesis compared to their larger-diameter counterparts. “Larger diameter” carbon nanotubes refer to those with outer diameter generally less than 50 nanometers, since after reaching this diameter, these materials lose the value that the properties in small diameter carbon nanotubes enable for applications.

*** The researchers used mechanisms for controlling electrochemical synthesis of CNTs from the capture and conversion of ambient CO2 in molten salts. Iron catalyst layers are deposited at different thicknesses onto stainless steel to produce cathodes, and atomic layer deposition of Al2O3 (aluminum oxide) is performed on nickel to produce a corrosion-resistant anode. The research team showed that a process called “Ostwald ripening” — where the nanoparticles that grow the carbon nanotubes change in size to larger diameters — is a key contender against producing the infinitely more useful size. The team showed they could partially overcome this by tuning electrochemical parameters to minimize these pesky large nanoparticles.

**** “According to the EPA, the United States alone emits more than 6,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.  Besides being implicated as a contributor to global climate change, these emissions are currently wasted resources that could otherwise be used productively to make useful materials. At SkyNano, we focus on the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into all carbon-based nanomaterials which can be used for a variety of applications. Our technology overcomes cost limitations associated with traditional carbon nanomaterial production and utilizes carbon dioxide as the only direct chemical feedstock.” — SkyNano Technologies

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Artificial Intelligence is changing the music industry

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Welcome to /r/artificial

/r/artificial is the largest subreddit dedicated to all issues related to Artificial Intelligence or AI. What does AI mean? Find out here!


Guidelines:

All submissions are moderated through “collaborative filtering” approach. To help better align content with the expectations of the audience and improve the quality of the subreddit, submissions that receive overall negative feedback may be removed.

Submissions should generally be about Artificial Intelligence and its applications. If you think your submission could be of interest to the community, feel free to post it.

Submission’s title should clearly indicate what the submission is about.

Try to avoid posting submissions that seem like a self-advertisement. Those usually contain clickbaity titles, speculations or overstatements.

If you want to advertise on /r/artificial, the best way is by doing an IAMA.

Consider doing a little research before asking a question to add more context. Providing more context usually leads to more insightful discussions.

Personal attacks will result in a cooling period of 7 days. Just don’t do this.


Getting started with Artificial Intelligence

The topic of Artificial Intelligence is very broad and there are many good learning resources available on the internet and in print.

However, to get started with Artificial Intelligence it’s enough to understand the following two books:

Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques to Build Intelligent Systems

Deep Learning (Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning series)

If you prefer a lecture/tutorial style learning, then the best resource is:

Hvass Laboratories Tensorflow Playlist

For Reinforcement Learning, please refer to the following lectures:

Joelle Pineau – Introduction to Reinforcement Learning

Pieter Abbeel – Deep Reinforcement Learning


Interested in doing an IAMA?

We offer an opportunity for companies and individuals working on interesting problems in AI to introduce their work to the community through the IAMA. Please contact /u/dejormo for more information.

We would love to hear from you!


IAMA

5/17/2018 Peter Voss (Aigo.ai) on AI assistants, AGI and his company

4/23/2018 Yunkai Zhou (Leap.ai) on AI in recruiting

8/23/2017 Paul Scharre on AI and International Security

5/18/2017 Matt Taylor from Numenta

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The US Military Is Funding an Effort to Catch Deepfakes and Other AI Trickery

Fake video Putin image

Current technology can allow anyone to make fake video of other people, including politicians and celebrities, which makes the future of fake news even more troubling.

Think that AI will help put a stop to fake news? The US military isn’t so sure.

From Technology Review
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Loss and accuracy

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I made a RNN and gave it the genome of E.coli bacteria for training. This means it has to choose from A,T,G or C and form a sequence to create a new genome. After 100000 iterations the loss is about 30. Is is 30 a good value? Is it possible to make it better?

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