Frozen Smoke : Discovery
Researchers have developed a sensor made from “frozen smoke” that uses artificial intelligence techniques to detect formaldehyde in real time at concentrations as low as eight parts per billion, far beyond the sensitivity of most indoor air quality sensors.
- The frozen smoke, technically known as aerogel, is an extraordinary material.
- It was originally developed in the 1930s.
- The name aerogel comes from the combination of the Greek word “aero”, meaning air, and “gel”, since aerogels are derived from gels.
- It is hailed as a miracle material.
- Aerogel can claim a low density, high thermal resistivity and a highly porous structure.
- The texture of aerogel is similar to a fine, dry sponge, but feels much lighter
- When pressed softly, aerogel will return to its original form, but when pressed harder, a dimple forms.
- Put aerogel under too much pressure, however, and it will shatter like glass into many tiny pieces.
- They are composed mostly of air and can be used to remove contaminants.