Has anyone else noticed that the chief climate change instigator is an excess of carbon, yet the latest hot technologies in materials science often involve carbon nanotubes and other fullerenes? In other words, our most perplexing waste stream and our most exciting new materials share the same major ingredient, carbon.
So why can't we take this waste stream and turn it into a big cash cow supply stream? Yes, the carbon nanotube and graphene technologies are still developing, but we've been finding applications for graphite and diamonds for decades if not centuries. And wouldn't turning the problem pollution into a valuable resource be the most elegant solution possible?
What most people would really like as a solution to climate change is some killer new technology to just get rid of the carbon emissions. Well I think this is it. So here's the design challenge to the materials scientists: create a method for sequestering all that carbon into cool new materials for our electronics, cars, buildings and infrastructure. And maybe get mega-rich doing it.