Biomimicry
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New Bioinspired Innovation Case Study: Efficient Heat Transfer in Manufacturing

New Bioinspired Innovation Case Study: Efficient Heat Transfer in Manufacturing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Like all injection molding processes, HARBEC heats solid plastic until it liquefies, presses the molten plastic into the cavity of a mold, and waits for the part to cool before ejecting it. This series of steps—melt, press, cool, eject—is called a cycle. When thousands or even millions of parts are being manufactured for a customer, the duration of each cycle is critical, and HARBEC knew that the cooling step was adding up to significant time and energy costs.

The project focused on the challenge of decreasing the time and energy spent during the cooling phase of the injection molding process. Turning to the many cooling systems in nature for inspiration, Terrapin worked with HARBEC’s engineering and manufacturing teams as well as topical experts from our network to innovate on current designs. After abstracting the underlying principles of the fluid-carrying channels in certain leaves, the project team combined these insights with the capabilities of additive manufacturing. The result is a design that reduces the time and energy used by more than 20% compared to conventional solutions. Read the case study for the full account of how we unlocked these significant energy and time savings!
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Bionic Leaf Makes Fuel from Sunlight, Water and Air

Bionic Leaf Makes Fuel from Sunlight, Water and Air | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A tree's leaf, a blade of grass, a single algal cell: all make fuel from the simple combination of water, sunlight and carbon dioxide through the miracle of photosynthesis. Now scientists say they have replicated—and improved—that trick by combining chemistry and biology in a "bionic" leaf.
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Engineered by Humans, Inspired by Nature

Engineered by Humans, Inspired by Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Have you noticed the tiny contours and crinkles on the surface of a leaf? All those folds bend and absorb light better than if it was flat, helping it receive more rays. It turns out, this same advantageous trait inspired engineers at Princeton University to use similar micro-folds to improve the efficiency of plastic solar cells in solar panels. These man-made energy-collectors are one example of the growing field of engineering known as biomimicry."

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Nonadhesion Technology: Yogurt Lid Licking Be Banished

Nonadhesion Technology: Yogurt Lid Licking Be Banished | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Part of the yogurt eating ritual has always been licking the food off the foil lid. Over the course of a year, the yogurt stuck to lids worldwide is equivalent to the volume consumed in Africa, according to a calculation by Toyo Aluminium. Morinaga Milk Industry is doing something about that: Its lids peel off clean with no stuck yogurt. The company uses a special lid developed in cooperation with Toyo Aluminium. It is based on a packaging technology Toyo calls "Toyal Lotus." The material's structural inspiration was the lotus leaf, which is famous for its ability to shed water and remain dry."

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Artificial Leaf Jumps Developmental Hurdle

Artificial Leaf Jumps Developmental Hurdle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Scientists report advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is an important goal. Hydrogen is an important fuel in itself and serves as an indispensible reagent for the production of light hydrocarbon fuels from heavy petroleum feed stocks. Society requires a renewable source of fuel that is widely distributed, abundant, inexpensive and environmentally clean. Society needs cheap hydrogen.
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Self-healing Solar Cells Mimic Leaves

Self-healing Solar Cells Mimic Leaves | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Solar cells based on organic systems have the potential to become less expensive and more environmentally friendly than silicon-based solar cells, the current industry standard. But the sun’s ultraviolet rays deteriorate  their performance. Now North Carolina State University researchers Orlin Velev and Hyung-Jun Koo have designed solar-cell devices with channels that were inspired by the branching vascular channels that circulate life-sustaining nutrients in leaves and human hands."

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New "Bionic" Leaf Is Roughly 10 Times More Efficient Than Natural Photosynthesis

New "Bionic" Leaf Is Roughly 10 Times More Efficient Than Natural Photosynthesis | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A tree's leaf, a blade of grass, a single algal cell: all make fuel from the simple combination of water, sunlight and carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Now scientists say they have replicated—and improved on—that trick with their own “bionic leaf.”
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This Artificial "Leaf" Can Produce Fuels From Carbon Dioxide And Sunlight

This Artificial "Leaf" Can Produce Fuels From Carbon Dioxide And Sunlight | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers say they have developed an artificial "leaf” that can produce fuels such as methane and gasoline from carbon dioxide. The team claimed it is a major step towards using fuels made renewably from sunlight for everything from heating our homes to running cars, without emitting any greenhouse gases. The breakthrough, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was led by Peidong Yang and his team at the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. It builds on the natural process of photosynthesis, where water and carbon dioxide are turned into sugar – organic fuel – by plants. By tweaking the process, via synthetic photosynthesis, it could be possible to create a whole host of different products."

 

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Mark William's curator insight, October 6, 2015 4:52 AM
Fuels can be produced by this artificial "Leaf" from Sunlight and Carbon Dioxide
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New Life for The Artificial Leaf?

New Life for The Artificial Leaf? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Research in laboratories around the world is moving the promise of artificial photosynthesis closer to reality

 

Photo details: A Leaf, Jon Sullivan, Wikimedia Commons, 2003, Public domain.

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Emmanuel Baeten's curator insight, January 4, 2015 12:50 PM

 Production of a kilogram of hydrogen, the fuel equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, for approximately 2 USD.

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From Thin Air: Making Fuel Like a Tree

From Thin Air: Making Fuel Like a Tree | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Here's how two U.S. firms pursued the holy grail of bioinspired design: artificial photosynthesis.
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Biomimetic Vascular Solar Cells

Biomimetic Vascular Solar Cells | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researchers at North Carolina State University have come up with a new way of making solar cells with a method that uses circulation much like that in plant leaves to maintain the efficiency of the cells. 

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are organic cells that use light-sensitive dyes to generate electricity. These cells could eventually make low-cost and more environmentally-friendly collectors for solar energy, but until now, the problem has been that the dyes eventually break down due to ultraviolet rays from the sun and lose their efficiency.

The NCSU scientists have created a cell with vascular chanels, much like the veins in a leaf, to allow them to replenish the dye and thereby maintain the efficiency of the cell."

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Hydrogen Energy the Chloroplast Way: Solar-to-fuel with the Artificial Leaf

Hydrogen Energy the Chloroplast Way: Solar-to-fuel with the Artificial Leaf | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The first fully integrated nanosystem for artificial photosynthesis is developed for producing hydrogen with cheap components and biomimicry.
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