Will the Car of the Future Be Made from Coal Ash?
Coal waste could provide a strong, lightweight material for car manufacturers
- Nathaniel Gronewold for scientificamerican.com March 28th, 2011
- Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=will-car-of-future-made-from-coal-ash
Could coal be the key to manufacturing lighter, more energy-efficient vehicles, including electric cars?
It may seem counterintuitive to use coal to reduce a vehicle's fuel consumption, and thus its CO2 output. But one scientist at a New York technical school thinks he's found a way, and hopes to market it to automakers and the growing electric vehicle industry.
Dr. Nikhil Gupta, an instructor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University in downtown Brooklyn, says the secret lies in the cumbersome and ubiquitous waste product from burning coal -- fly ash. Less than half of the fly ash produced from power plants is captured to make a certain type of cement, while the rest ends up in landfills.