Nav: Home

Passive radiative cooling in delignified wood material

May 23, 2019

A newly engineered, wood-based material successfully reflects heat, or infrared radiation, and could cut the energy costs associated with cooling buildings by up to 50%, according to a modeling analysis of its application in 16 U.S. cities. The brilliant white "cooling wood," which is more than eight times stronger than natural wood, is both highly reflective and capable of passive radiative cooling - two highly-sought after properties in next-generation, energy-efficient structural materials. Buildings account for more than 40% of the nation's total energy demand - nearly half of which is used for heating and cooling, often through energy-inefficient means. Cooling indoor environments is particularly challenging and energy-intensive, which has made passive radiative cooling an attractive alternative for improving the energy efficiencies of buildings. Passive radiative cooling materials can cool a structure by deflecting incoming solar radiation and dissipating heat energy with no energy consumption. While several methods for achieving passive radiative cooling in buildings have been demonstrated experimentally, the ability to manufacture and implement the systems at the size and scale necessary for widespread adoption remains unfeasible. By compressing wood that has been stripped of its lignin (polymers that help make plant cells rigid), Tian Li and colleagues enhance the qualities of the already widely used, sustainable construction material and imbue it with impressive mechanical and radiative cooling properties. According to Li et al., the complete delignification and densification process not only makes the wood significantly stronger, but also results in partially aligned cellulose nanofibers, which gives the cooling wood its highly solar reflective surface, and high infrared emissivity. Testing of the cooling wood's radiative flux demonstrated continuous sub-ambient cooling during day and night. What's more, a cooling cost evaluation across 16 U.S. cities finds savings between 20% and 50%.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Energy Articles:

Wave energy researchers dive deep to advance clean energy source
One of the biggest untapped clean energy sources on the planet -- wave energy -- could one day power millions of homes across the US.
A new energy source within the cells
Scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, find evidence of a new energy source within cell nucleus.
MIT Energy Initiative welcomes Exelon as member for clean energy research
MIT Energy Initiative announces that national energy provider Exelon joins MITEI as a member to focus research support through MITEI's Low-Carbon Energy Centers.
Clean energy from water
Fuel cells generate electrical energy through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen.
Determinant factors for energy consumption and perception of energy conservation clarified
Change in lifestyle is a key component to realizing a low-carbon society.
Lactate for brain energy
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate.
Evidence shows low energy sweeteners help reduce energy intake and body weight
Use of low energy sweeteners (LES) in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced calorie intake and body weight - and possibly also when comparing LES beverages to water -- according to a review led by researchers at the University of Bristol published in the International Journal of Obesity today.
ASU professor honored for work on energy and social aspects of energy policy
Martin 'Mike' Pasqualetti, an Arizona State University professor and an expert on energy and social components of energy development, will be awarded 2015 Alexander and Ilse Melamid Memorial Medal by the American Geographical Society.
Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project awards $9.3 million for energy research
GCEP has awarded scientists at Stanford and four other universities funding to develop a suite of promising energy technologies.
Energy efficiency upgrades ease strain of high energy bills in low-income families
Low-income families bear the brunt of high-energy costs and poor thermal comfort from poorly maintained apartment buildings.

Related Energy Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...