September 28, 2023


Put A Technology

Wind Turbine Blades Destined for the Afterlife


The Big Photo features engineering through the lens of photographers.

Each month, IEEE Spectrum selects the most stunning technological innovation photos just lately captured by photographers around the earth. We pick photographs that reflect an critical progress, or a craze, or that are just mesmerizing to appear at. We feature all visuals on our internet site, and a single also appears on our month-to-month print version.

Appreciate the most up-to-date photographs, and if you have ideas, leave a remark below.

What’s Subsequent?

This group of wind-turbine enthusiast blades, fresh new from Siemens Gamesa’s new RecycleBlade manufacturing course of action at England’s greatest such manufacturing facility, await shipment to the a variety of factors all around the world where they will serve 20- to 30-calendar year stints creating electricity at wind farms just before they’re recalled and reincarnated. The 81-meter-prolonged blades have been built employing a method that will let them to finally be damaged down by a chemical resolution so their structural fibers and resin can be separated and repurposed.

Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Rooftop Rendezvous

Shown here is a glimpse into the imagined upcoming of city transportation. On the roof of a skyscraper in the middle of a metropolis, sits a vertiport, a transit hub the place vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) vehicles these types of as Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 electrically driven, four-passenger plane will alight amongst flights. A prepared network of landing places will allow eVTOLs recharge their batteries among flights, maintaining men and women over the hustle and bustle (and targeted traffic tie-ups) that arrive common with having private automobiles or taxis on city streets. In accordance to a modern report unveiled by Vertical Aerospace, an eVTOL could ferry a passenger from London’s Heathrow Airport to Cambridge in a lot less than 30 minutes. Generating the excursion in a taxi generally will take 90 minutes by prepare, it is a 2-hour experience.

Vertical Aerospace

Spooky Holography at a Length

Holography has lengthy been utilised to “fool” viewers by rendering objects’ 3D form and structure in such stunning element that it seems you can achieve out and contact them. Heretofore, pulling off that magic trick demanded the skill to detect mild that experienced interacted with the genuine, authentic-planet report. But now, a team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Utilized Optics and Precision Engineering, in Germany, has found a way to develop holograms of things devoid of at any time detecting any mild from them. This new holography strategy takes gain of a quantum-physics phenomenon recognised as entanglement, wherein numerous particles are joined and can impact every single other immediately no matter of how far apart they are. The researchers used a nonlinear crystal to break up a violet laser beam into two beams, a person much-pink, the other in close proximity to-infrared. They future applied the much-crimson beam to illuminate the sample. A camera recorded the around-infrared light-weight. With the help of entanglement, they made use of knowledge from the around-infrared light to produce a hologram dependent on the details of the object scanned by the significantly-crimson beam. Proven here is the set up the workforce made use of for this high-tech prestidigitation.

Walter Oppel/Fraunhofer Iof

Large-Voltage Recycling

Now that China has just about cornered the market place on mining and processing the exceptional-earth factors that are critical to the producing of products these kinds of as smartphones, EV motors, and wind turbines, other international locations are scrambling to shore up alternate provide-chain choices. A single source that has been up for consideration is the accumulating mountain of e-squander that consists of these exceptional-earth elements along with a smattering of valuable metals. But here’s the rub: Extracting the bits deemed reusable is tough and harmful. And until eventually now, reclaiming some of the probably helpful components was bodily impossible. But researchers at Rice University, in Texas, have demonstrated a strategy for zapping e-waste with bursts of electrical energy that heat the elements to feverish temperatures in a issue of seconds. This flash Joule heating course of action can also extract scarce earths from fly ash, a by-product or service of coal combustion. Reclamation processes using even the strongest acids experienced been thwarted by the point that when coal is burned, the silicon-, aluminum-, iron- and calcium oxides current in coal flip to glass. The glass forms an impenetrable barrier stopping the acid from breaking down the other products. But the flash Joule method heats the fly ash to about 3,000 °C—hot plenty of to crack the glass layer all around fly-ash particles, and to convert rare-earth phosphates into oxides that dissolve very easily in incredibly gentle acid.

Brandon Martin/Rice University


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