Showing posts from July 3, 2022

Artificial Chemosynthesis can produce Food without Sunshine

  For the more distant future, University of California – Riverside researchers have found a way to bypass the sunlight for photosynthesis and synthesize food with chemical processing—chemosynthesis.   This science-fictionish concept is still only a distant and far-future possibility, but it has tremendous possibilities.  The technology uses a two-step process.   First, an electrocatalytic process converts carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), electricity, and water (H 2 O) into acetate (vinegar attached to some anion).   Food-producing organisms (plants or fungi) then consume acetate to grow without the need for light. Even better this chemosynthesis process might be 18 times the conversion efficiency of the 1% in photosynthesis. The researchers involved were able to pursue the potential food production because they developed a more efficient process for electrocatylyzing acetate from water and carbon dioxide.   When the non-light chemical bio-energy input can be done, a range of science ficti

Radiative-Cooling Air Conditioning

  There is a surprisingly new addition to air conditioning from nanotechnology, radiative cooling.   Radiative-cooling panels pointing straight up into the sky can tap a vast freely available heat sink only slightly above absolute zero. The radiative panels emit more energy in infrared (heat waves) than they absorb in visible. Their emission frequency band is optimized to be in the band that best penetrate the atmosphere so that energy can dissipate out into space.   On clear nights, heat radiates even more strongly out to the cold of outer space.   Researchers at the University of California Berkeley are developing even more exotic roof coatings that radiatively cool in hot weather and absorb light for heat in cold weather.   Such variable cooling/absorbing roof coatings could theoretically reduce American electrical use by 10%. Radiative cooling will not replace air conditioning, but it can reduce the needed size and energy use of air conditioners needed for a given climate