Gold From Thin Air

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

“The most valuable material ever sold”

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 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.****

The good news:

High-quality carbon nanotubes at a low cost.
Carbon Nanotubes have a huge variety of potential applications for energy, medicine, industry, consumer devices.

And we’re only just beginning to figure out what they’re good for. Make them widely available at a low cost and there’s no telling what people will figure out to do with them.

More Good News:

In this process, the carbon comes straight from CO2 in the atmosphere. A “gold rush” for CO2 would have the geoengineering benefit of reducing atmospheric carbon. A self-funded way to mitigate climate change?

Potential Downside:

What if the gold rush goes on and sucks too much CO2 out of the atmosphere. Could it trigger an ice age?

WT 444-757

Eternity Kevin MacLeod ( | Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License |
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About Phil 523 Articles
Phil Bowermaster is a nationally recognized author and speaker. He has more than 25 years experience writing about emerging technologies and the future. As co-host of the popular Internet radio series, The World Transformed, Phil has talked with leading scientists and technologists, best-selling authors, philosophers, filmmakers, artists, entrepreneurs and others who are shaping our understanding of the amazing era of transformation in which we live. Phil helps leaders and their organizations develop strategies for managing accelerating change. He shows how imagination, optimism, empathy, and humor can make all the difference in both understanding and making the most of the powerful currents of change we face.