A combination of nanotechnology and a virus found on tobacco could save huge amounts of energy in industrial and electronic processes
Scientists have found a way to boil water faster, although they admit the discovery is unlikely to revolutionise tea-making.
The technology works by coating a heating element with a virus found on tobacco plants. The coating dramatically reduces the size and number of bubbles that form around the element as it gets warmer. Air pockets caused by bubbles temporarily insulate heating elements from the surrounding water, slowing down the transfer of heat.
A coating made from the tobacco virus tripled the efficiency of boiling water, scientists said, which could save vast quantities of energy in industrial power plants or large-scale electronic cooling systems.
“Even slight improvements to technologies that are used so widely can be quite impactful,” said Matthew McCarthy, an engineer at Drexel University in Pennsylvania.
Controlling the formation of bubbles would also help guard against a scenario called “critical heat flux” that is undesirable – sometimes disastrous – in industrial boilers. This happens when so many bubbles are forming that they merge into a blanket surrounding the element, meaning that it can no longer transfer heat to the water.
“What happens then is the dry surface gets hotter and hotter, like a pan on the stove without water in it,” said McCarthy. “This failure can lead to the simple destruction of electronic components, or in power plant cooling applications, the catastrophic meltdown of a nuclear reactor.”
To counteract this effect, scientists have been attempting to develop surfaces that repel bubbles and keep the boiling surface wet. McCarthy’s team has identified tobacco mosaic virus, which is roughly pencil-shaped, as the perfect structure for wicking moisture downwards towards a surface.
The team has developed a genetically modified strain of the virus, with “molecular hooks” allowing it to adhere to nearly any surface. The researchers grow tobacco plants in the lab and infect them with the modified tobacco mosaic virus. “When the plants are really sick, we put them in the blender and you get a sort of green soup,” said McCarthy.
After several rounds of centrifuging and chemical separation, which takes two days, the scientists are left with a perfectly clear solution of concentrated virus. When poured over a surface, the virus self-assembles into a layer of nano-tendrils, each pointing upward like a blade of grass.
Read more: Plant Virus Can Help Boil Water 3X Faster
The Latest on: Energy-efficient coating
via Google News
The Latest on: Energy-efficient coating
- Global Energy Efficient Glass Market Report 2019: Market Accounted for $23.20 Billion in 2018 and is Expected to Reach $41.79 Billion by 2027on November 28, 2019 at 3:30 pm
The glass does not compromise upon the volume of light entering the structure. Energy-efficient glass is made up of Nanocoatings, which reflects light. These coatings preserve the temperature of the ...
- Minimalist, energy-efficient cabin is glazed in a mirror-like shineon November 26, 2019 at 8:36 am
Prolific Russian architect Alex Nerovnya has recently revealed designs for SOL House, an energy-efficient cabin with massive ... According to Nerovnya, the reflective glass can be treated with a ...
- Industry News: Glass Coatings Market Size, Share Poised to Touch USD 5.03 billionon November 26, 2019 at 3:16 am
Asia-Pacific generated the highest revenue in the glass coatings market in 2018. The increasing use in vehicles, and rising awareness regarding energy efficient buildings drive the market growth in ...
- A step in the right directionon November 20, 2019 at 2:56 am
whilst existing ships are required to have energy efficient management plans in place. Shipowners and operators are seeking new solutions to help meet and support these targets and the right hull ...
- Optical Coatings Market Size Estimation, Global Share, Industry Report, Price Trends, Business Analysis and Growth Forecast 2023on November 17, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Germany is the chief contributor in this region. The Optical Coating Market in the MEA is predicted to have a healthy growth over the forecast period owing to strict rules laid down by the government ...
- Global Livestock Grow Lights Market 2019-2023 | Development of Energy-Efficient Livestock Grow Lights to Boost Growth | Technavioon November 15, 2019 at 12:30 am
These factors pose a threat to modern lighting systems and encourage livestock grow light manufacturers to introduce damp-proof, ammonia-resistant, and energy-efficient lights. Many of these ...
- New building coatings beat the heaton October 21, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Aashay Arora and Matthew Aguayo’s promising new technique to make buildings more energy efficient emerged from a project to ... plaster and stucco — three of the most commonly used coatings for ...
- 5 benefits of energy-efficient windowson October 10, 2019 at 7:54 am
2. Blocks out the sun's ultraviolet rays. The coating on energy-efficient windows helps block out the sun's ultraviolet rays. With nonenergy-efficient windows, rugs, carpets, wood and fabrics can he ...
- Ultraviolet Coating Can Zap Away Bacteria, Even Superbugson July 2, 2019 at 12:27 pm
The coating, smaller than a micrometer ... The entire room could be covered by the Purdue material, and the method is energy-efficient, requiring less power than UV lamps, Kubis says. Operators would ...
- Energy Efficient Powder Coatings Market 2024| AkzoNobel, Jotun, BASF, IGP, PPG Industries, TCI, Kansai Paints, Axaltaon January 10, 2019 at 9:17 am
Jan 10, 2019 (Heraldkeeper via COMTEX) -- Energy Efficient Powder Coatings Market size will witness a steady growth owing to its increased application in automobile, transportation, electrical and ...
via Bing News