Here's a science fiction idea to 'roll the dice' for a 'Decentralised Carbon Industrial Ecology' (DCIE)
Overview of DCIE
The idea is that you could customise the ecology with whatever tools/machines and resources you needed to produce a chosen number of C-negative technologies with as many resource and design
synergies as possible between them via permaculture ecological design science plus a healthy dose of engineering. Elements supporting many functions and functions supported by many elements.
The ultimate biocomposite for transport - What does the biocomposite material need to do?
*be researched in the 'open source' commons
*avoid fuel dependency eg.fossil fuels, Grey Hydrogen or even Green Hydrogen when it's not made onboard
*acts as a 'C negative' sink for C removal
*Photon absorption ('solar harvesting')
*Energy storage ('solid state' 'massless battery')
*Energy transmission to onboard electronics and electric engine (electron transport)
*Lightweight, durable, rigid, shock absorptive, and UV resistant chassis
*The chassis matrix would need to be able to charge & discharge simultaneously with discharge on demand as the electronics & engine demand power
*Reusable at the end of it's lifetime eg.Carbon Removal for a Cascade of Uses' (CRCU), upcycling or composting
A C based lead-free doped and ecologically inert 3D superlattice (on the nanoscale) PV cell + massless battery (using hot carrier electrons, vertical quantum wells and quantum
superabsorption OR a base second superlattice of SiC) could maintain most of it's structural integrity by the end of it's service life (when efficiency drops to an unacceptable level and the
structural degradation creates different 'pore sizes' for micro-organisms), possibly used for water filtration (?modded) then co-composted with micro-organisms, minerals, nutrients,
fertilizer etc., like biochar, and improve soil health and remove C and reduce soil C emissions for Millenia+ timescales
There are 3 main approaches for (green) materials discovery: empiricism-driven experiments, database-driven high-throughput screening, and data informatics-driven machine learning.
1 - 'Solar' Carbon-based nanocrystals (possibly from kelp) that absorb photons (solar harvesting), store energy (massless battery) and release electrons into a circuit (electron
transport)->transmission of power to onboard electronics and an easily maintained electric engine. Maybe doped fullerenes with Silicon could work...
2 - Blended (like 'Homebrew' beer) and not laminated (points of weakness between the layers) biocomposite, possibly into molds.
3 - Hemp fibre->pyrolysis->biochar, in possibly a new clean process->C fibre->coated with 'Solar' nanocrystals (from 1) + hemp fibre + hemp bioresin
4 - with discovered technology, only 2 laminated layers could be needed. The outer layer of the chassis could use something similar to the referenced woven C fibre massless battery but
with 'Green chemistry' (green battery chemistry, solar harvesting, energy storage and strength) and adhered to an inner layer of blended C fibre evenly coated with cellulose derived C
nanotubes for additional strength (referenced) + hemp fibre + hemp bioresin. Taking a 'barebones' approach to the chassis inner layer could work as the nanocrystals may not increase the
rigidity and durability much and would have less efficient solar harvesting and storage than a dedicated outer massless battery layer. Then, as the outer massless battery layer tech improves
(which could come from a variety of companies), subsequent massless battery designs could be adhered to the inner layer chassis (which could be perfected earlier than the massless battery)
for incremental improvement of solar harvesting, energy storage and strength.
Could be an interesting starting point while the hunt for the C-based 'solar' nanocrystal goes on...
- cars eg. 4WD 'Adventure' vehicle (see previous blog), which could be a 'barebones' design with a drivetrain/chassis + customised 'modules' eg.engine, wheels, dashboard, seats etc.
Solar glass (not science fiction) used in the windows could be used for additional solar harvesting and energy storage, connected to a separate 'solid state' hybrid C-based
battery/supercapacitor (high energy density with fast recharge and discharge) which could be used as a backup power supply for the vehicle
- So, if a perovskite can absorb photons, store them as energy and release photons as light, is it possible for a C-based nanocrystal to do the same but instead of releasing photons,
releasing electrons into a circuit?
- How do you coat 'Solar' C-based nanocrystals on C fibre?
- More broadly, how do you control the behaviour of energy in nanocrystals?
- What is the mechanism of photon trapping in C-based nanocrystals? (which may vary between structures)
- What is the mechanism of electron trapping in C-based nanocrystals? (which may vary between structures)
Looks like I designed in principle a quantum superabsorptive material (see references) for the outer layer/'discovered material' in Hypothesis 4. Biochar is full of microcavities
including on the nanoscale.
Quote: "A battery that is capable of harvesting and storing light energy simultaneously would provide significant cost reduction while reducing the
unpredictability of energy from solar technologies." What's also very cool is the more molecules there are, the faster the material will
Why not use the above principles and produce microcavity inclusions for
"harvesting and storing light energy
simultaneously" in a 'Carbon nanotube mat' (see references) for super high tensile strength, bulletproof, heat tolerance et al? This could then
be bonded to the inner hemp biocomposite from Hypothesis 4 except C fibre would probably not be needed since the mat is much stronger than steel and probably C fibre too...Keep it in mind
too that kevlar is a synthetic polymer invented in 1965 with some potentially polluting chemicals and byproducts (more research needed). A search/machine learning (ML) algorithm for
cellulose-based C nanotubes with high tensile strength might be all that's needed, with hemp being a very promising candidate from what I have read so far - but quantum computer ML could
do it faster. I doubt there would be much research on C nanotube mats. The point is maybe the entire 'new material' can be made from sustainably produced cellulose from plants (without
the dead dinosaurs and chemical pollution) to produce a solar light superabsorbing, energy storing, high tensile strength and heat resistant material (bonus if it can dodge bullets too
but not the main goal for civilian science)!
AN EVEN NEWER UPDATE 18/9/2022
Any water source, including 'Atmospheric Water Generation' (AWG)->Micro or macro algae production and harvesting->BECCS generator->biochar
feedstock->Water filtration, air filtration->Food production eg. biochar hydroponics OR humanure->regenerative agroforestry system (RAS)
Biochar->finely milled to a powder->C based 'nano' printer ink->2D/3D nano printer (powered from the BECCS generator)->C-based 'New
material'->Solar harvesting and storage->Electricity for Buildings, transport, ???
This design covers most scenarios on Earth
Evaporation for microalgae production and Oxygen for pyrolysis would be a major issue on Mars so BECCS may not be a great idea using conventional
thinking. However, microalgae could be grown in a closed system and a highly efficient indoor BECCS generator could be designed for the microalgae to produce a pure C feedstock which is
good for 'electronics'. Failing that, maybe freight some 'New material' panels from Earth to Mars to power a Direct Air Capture (DAC) unit that could convert CO2 to a pure Carbon
feedstock->C based nano printer ink->2D/3D nano printer->more 'New material' panels, that could also be freighted to the next planet beyond Mars...but how to fabricate those
pesky DACs...maybe with a Carbon-based biocomposite (Cannabis sativa (the hemp variety) on Mars?). ISRU industry would be needed on Mars to reduce freight, develop a colony and prepare
for the next planet.
The 'new material' could also power O2 production from perchlorates for buildings, space suits and BECCS generators. Maybe H2 (with the exception of
H2O) is not needed at all...
- TerraBox for ISRU PV production: https://www.maanaelectric.com/
- Composite glass breakthrough: https://amp.abc.net.au/article/100578398
- ClearVue PV: https://www.clearvuepv.com/products/how-it-works/
- The Hemp plastic company: https://hempplastic.com/
- Hemp composite V C fibre: https://westernstateshemp.com/hemp-composite-vs-carbon-fiber/
- Nanocrystals from waste: https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=301072
- Massless battery breakthrough: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/03/25/massless-battery-breakthrough-for-lightweight-evs/
- Fish scales to Carbon nano onions (CNOS): https://interestingengineering.com/science/new-method-fish-waste-carbon-based-nanomaterials
- Mesoporous Carbon perovskites: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/11/15/mesoporous-carbon-for-a-20-year-stable-perovskite-solar-cell/
Lithography-free carbon nanotube arrays: https://phys.org/news/2021-11-lithography-free-carbon-nanotube-arrays-simple.amp
- Quantum superabsorption: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/news/list/2022/01/17/superabsorption-unlocks-key-to-next-generation-quantum-batteries
- Article for quantum superabsorption from above: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abk3160
- Carbon nanotube mat - Just add microcavities?: https://interestingengineering.com/nanotube-material-better-than-kevlar