Dirty carbon reveals a sophisticated side

Monday, April 27, 2020 - 13:40 in Physics & Chemistry

Tar, the everyday material that seals seams in our roofs and driveways, has an unexpected and unappreciated complexity, according to an MIT research team: It might someday be useful as a raw material for a variety of high-tech devices including energy storage systems, thermally active coatings, and electronic sensors. And it’s not just tar. Professor Jeffrey Grossman has a very different view of other fossil fuels as well. Rather than using these materials as cheap commodities to burn up, seal cracks with, or dispose of, he sees potential for a wide variety of applications that take advantage of the highly complex chemistry embedded in these ancient mixtures of biomass-derived carbon compounds. A significant benefit of such applications is that they provide a way to repurpose materials that would otherwise be burned, adding to greenhouse gas emissions, or disposed of in landfills. These uses could lead to a “greening” of otherwise climate-damaging coal...

Read the whole article on MIT Research

More from MIT Research

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net