May 24, 2022

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Wind Turbine Blades Destined for the Afterlife

4 min read



The Huge Photo capabilities technological innovation through the lens of photographers.

Each individual thirty day period, IEEE Spectrum selects the most breathtaking technologies photos lately captured by photographers around the entire world. We pick images that reflect an crucial advance, or a pattern, or that are just mesmerizing to glimpse at. We feature all photographs on our website, and one also seems on our month-to-month print version.

Take pleasure in the latest images, and if you have solutions, depart a comment beneath.

What is Upcoming?

This group of wind-turbine admirer blades, clean from Siemens Gamesa’s new RecycleBlade producing method at England’s greatest these kinds of factory, await cargo to the different factors all over the globe exactly where they will serve 20- to 30-yr stints generating electricity at wind farms right before they’re recalled and reincarnated. The 81-meter-very long blades ended up manufactured applying a course of action that will allow for them to inevitably be broken down by a chemical remedy so their structural fibers and resin can be divided and repurposed.

Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Pictures

Rooftop Rendezvous

Revealed in this article is a glimpse into the imagined potential of urban transportation. On the roof of a skyscraper in the middle of a metropolis, sits a vertiport, a transit hub where vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) autos this sort of as Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 electrically driven, four-passenger plane will alight concerning flights. A prepared community of landing places will permit eVTOLs recharge their batteries between flights, keeping individuals above the hustle and bustle (and targeted traffic tie-ups) that arrive normal with getting non-public cars or taxis on town streets. In accordance to a current report unveiled by Vertical Aerospace, an eVTOL could ferry a passenger from London’s Heathrow Airport to Cambridge in much less than 30 minutes. Producing the vacation in a taxi usually takes 90 minutes by practice, it’s a 2-hour trip.

Vertical Aerospace

Spooky Holography at a Distance

Holography has prolonged been utilized to “fool” viewers by rendering objects’ 3D form and structure in such beautiful element that it seems you can attain out and contact them. Heretofore, pulling off that magic trick expected the means to detect mild that experienced interacted with the authentic, true-environment write-up. But now, a group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Utilized Optics and Precision Engineering, in Germany, has found a way to make holograms of things devoid of at any time detecting any light from them. This new holography strategy will take benefit of a quantum-physics phenomenon known as entanglement, wherein various particles are joined and can impact each individual other instantaneously no matter of how significantly aside they are. The researchers used a nonlinear crystal to split a violet laser beam into two beams, a single significantly-red, the other near-infrared. They up coming utilized the considerably-purple beam to illuminate the sample. A camera recorded the close to-infrared light-weight. With the enable of entanglement, they applied info from the in the vicinity of-infrared light-weight to create a hologram primarily based on the facts of the object scanned by the far-red beam. Shown in this article is the set up the group made use of for this large-tech prestidigitation.

Walter Oppel/Fraunhofer Iof

Significant-Voltage Recycling

Now that China has just about cornered the marketplace on mining and processing the uncommon-earth things that are essential to the manufacturing of merchandise these as smartphones, EV motors, and wind turbines, other international locations are scrambling to shore up alternate provide-chain alternatives. 1 supply that has been up for thought is the accumulating mountain of e-waste that contains these scarce-earth materials alongside with a smattering of cherished metals. But here’s the rub: Extracting the bits deemed reusable is hard and hazardous. And till now, reclaiming some of the most likely valuable elements was physically not possible. But experts at Rice University, in Texas, have shown a approach for zapping e-waste with bursts of energy that warmth the materials to feverish temperatures in a matter of seconds. This flash Joule heating course of action can also extract rare earths from fly ash, a by-item of coal combustion. Reclamation processes using even the strongest acids had been thwarted by the fact that when coal is burned, the silicon-, aluminum-, iron- and calcium oxides current in coal flip to glass. The glass kinds an impenetrable barrier stopping the acid from breaking down the other resources. But the flash Joule approach heats the fly ash to about 3,000 °C—hot more than enough to crack the glass layer around fly-ash particles, and to change exceptional-earth phosphates into oxides that dissolve easily in pretty delicate acid.

Brandon Martin/Rice College



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