Living Sea Sculpture continues to research and innovate art, science, and technology for coral reef restoration.
The latest biopolymer experiments with coral fragmentation planting on Zoe.
Research Article in Advanced Materials, Published by Wiley Online Library | December 14, 2022 | Authors: Guillermo Reyes, Mabel Vega-Coloma, Anna Antonova, Rubina Ajdary, Solène Jonveaux, Colleen Flanigan, Nathalie Lautenbacher, Orlando J. Rojas
Current carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies require high energy input and costly catalysts. Here, an effective pathway is offered that addresses climate action by atmospheric CO2 sequestration. Industrially relevant highly reactive alkali cellulose solutions are used as CO2 absorption media. The latter lead to mineralized cellulose materials (MCM) at a tailorable cellulose-to-mineral ratio, forming organic-inorganic viscous systems (viscosity from 102 to 107 mPa s and storage modulus from 10 to 105 Pa). CO2 absorption and conversion into calcium carbonate and associated minerals translate to maximum absorption of 6.5 gCO2 gcellulose−1, tracking inversely with cellulose loading. Cellulose lean gels are easily converted into dry powders, shown as a functional component of ceramic glazes and cementitious composites. Meanwhile, cellulose-rich gels are moldable and extrudable, yielding stone-like structures tested as artificial substrates for coral reef restoration. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) suggests new CCU opportunities for building materials, as demonstrated in underwater deployment for coral reef ecosystem restoration.
From the journal: Green Chemistry | September 2022 |
Blueberry pruning waste (BPw), sourced as residues from agroforestry operations in Chile, was used to produce added-value products, including platform chemicals and materials. BPw fractionation was implemented using biobased solvents (γ-valerolactone, GVL) and pyrolysis (500 °C), yielding solid fractions that are rich in phenols and antioxidants. The liquid fraction was found to be enriched in sugars, acids, and amides. Alongside, filaments and 3D-printed meshes were produced via wet spinning and Direct-Ink-Writing (DIW), respectively. For the latter purpose, BPw was dissolved in an ionic liquid, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([emim][OAc]), and regenerated into lignocellulose filaments with highly aligned nanofibrils (wide-angle X-ray scattering) that simultaneously showed extensibility (wet strain as high as 39%). BPw-derived lignocellulose filaments showed a tenacity (up to 2.3 cN dtex−1) that is comparable to that of rayon fibers and showed low light reflectance (RES factor <3%). Meanwhile, DIW of the respective gels led to meshes with up to 60% wet stretchability. The LCF and meshes were demonstrated to have reliable performance in marine environments. As a demonstration, we show the prospects of replacing plastic cords and other materials used to restore coral reefs on the coast of Mexico.
We are currently working on creating 3D renderings of dozens of coral species to use in the design and modeling of new artistic artificial coral reefs for coral restoration around the world.
Colleen captured these photos while obsessively observing their delicate, rigid beauty fabricated over years by tiny animals secreting calcium carbonate.
OBJ & PLY generated by 3Dskan software developed by James Tunic, The IMC Lab, using photogrammetry in processing hand-held iPhone video by Colleen Flanigan of coral skeletons from the collection of Dr. Donald Potts, UCSC.
Contact for James Tunick, The IMC Lab: JTunick@theimclab.com
Ginormous thanks to @theimclab for creating a .obj of @zoelivingseasculpture. From there, more galactic thanks to @oskar.elek from UCSC’s Computational Media Creative Coding Lab who ran it through his Polyphorm software developed to analyze intergalactic gas and dark matter filaments (together known as ‘Cosmic web’). Polyphorm uses the Monte Carlo Physarum Machine (MCPM) algorithm inspired by the foraging behavior of Physarum polycephalum ‘slime mold’.
We’re exploring new concepts, materials, simulations, and fabrication for next reFORMed reefs.
Oskar Elek ran his custom Polyphorm software on 3Dskans of Zoe – A Living Sea Sculpture