(February 9, 2008) – In a paper I wrote for the journal of Asia’s BOAO Forum I suggested that we don’t have an energy shortage–we have a knowledge shortage. There is more potential in the water running in your bathtub (in the bonds that hold the particles together in the water) than the US consumes in a year.
One of the ways I suggested to increase sustainable energy supplies would be to develop strategies that increase the absorption of solar flux by genetically altering crops to suppress their ability to deflect green wavelengths of light (there is research going on to do just this). This would make plants appear black, of course, which might not please everyone. Here is an interesting article about new research results that would do the same thing for man-made structures by creating a coating that yields “the new black.”
Researchers develop darkest manmade material. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rice University have created the darkest material ever made by man. The material, a thin coating comprised of low-density arrays of loosely vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes, absorbs more than 99.9 percent of light and one day could be used to boost the effectiveness and efficiency of solar energy conversion, infrared sensors and other devices. The researchers who developed the material have applied for a Guinness World Record for their efforts.
These are the ways we are going to solve the world’s growing need for energy.