This summer has been one for the ages. Normally around July the yearly HBCU Rivalry Twitter beefs pop off. This year has been different. There have been attacks all across the web trying to prove that HBCUs are irrelevant and don’t prepare you for the real world. Stories like this disprove their theory and reaffirm our relevance. HBCUs are adapting to the times. Several institutions have delved into medicinal marijuana research and are even planning to grow and dispense it on campus.
Tuskegee University is also on the cutting edge of life changing possibilities. Tuskegee University’s Marketing & Communication office reported that associate professor of chemistry Dr. Michael L. Curry and engineering doctoral student Donald White have modified and discovered new bio-based natural materials that could eliminate the harmful buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “They believe the use of naturally occurring nanocellulose holds the key to efficiently and cost-effectively mitigating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases associated with rising global temperatures and extreme weather events.”
Instead of increasing the rate of carbon dioxide removal through changes in land and forestry usage and geoengineering techniques, the Tuskegee-developed technology relies on materials taken from agricultural waste products called nanocellulose, which is capable of capturing, storing and releasing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere without any external influences.
“Nanocellulose is a natural material that can be found in abundance on this planet,” Curry said. “Using this material to develop new technologies for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide will only push the boundaries of science toward the development of new systems that promotes a cleaner and cooler atmosphere.”
The researchers’ nanocellulose-based process relies on using naturally occurring plant-based materials as filters to remove dangerous carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere. In addition, if this new technology is used as a means to reduce carbon dioxide, this natural material can be reused in the environment for remediation.
Climate change is a huge environmental and political issue that proves to be a threat every day. The fact that these researchers are finding ways to prevent this from becoming an even bigger issue is empowering in itself.