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November 28th, 2008
Bhavik Bakshi: These materials have some very nice properties, but they can also be extremely resource-intensive.
That's Bhavik Bakshi, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University, talking about nanotech materials, which are produced at the scale of one billionth of a meter.
Bhavik Bakshi: Anytime you go to such a tiny scale, at the scale of a nanometer, having that level of control requires a lot of resources to be put into that kind of a system.
Bakshi tracked the energy used to produce carbon nanofibers, which can be many times lighter and stronger than steel.
Bhavik Bakshi: So if you compare steel with carbon nanofibers, the most efficient way of making carbon nanofibers that we studied consumes at least 100 times more energy as compared to an equivalent quantity of steel.
Bakshi said that carbon nanofibers aren't being mass produced yet, but there are products in development that use them in car body panels and doors in order to make cars lighter.
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