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35 Innovators Under 35

Vivek Nair, 23

Carbon nanotubes from carbon emissions

Damascus Fortune, Mumbai

Vivek Nair

There are many technologies for carbon capture but Vivek Nair has found an innovative way to convert carbon emissions into industry grade carbon nanotubes. His company Damascus Fortune has forged partnerships with several rice mills and carbon emitting plants in India to produce carbon nanotubes. Even though there are numerous applications of carbon nanotubes, most of the products are still not in the market due to the high cost of the carbon nanotubes. The challenge is in manufacturing these on a mass scale.

His invention uses a pressing problem (industrial and auto emissions) as a "raw material", applies transformative chemistry using a regenerable catalyst, and produces innovative carbon nanotubes. The process followed is a catalytic substrate exposed to the flow of flue gas or flame coming out of the furnace to tap and produce carbon nanotubes by a carbon vapor deposition process.

The main advantage of the invention is large-scale high yield production of carbon filaments from pollution causing carbon emissions from industrial and automobile exhausts. Nair has completed the basic research and optimized the catalyst and substrate for a set of other industries and automobiles too. And he has set his sight on automation instruments that can continuously perform the carbon capture when the industrial furnace or the automobile is in operation.

2012 TR35 Winners

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Windows that block heat—but let it through when you want them to

Mircea Dincă

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Prashant Jain

Tuning nanocrystals to make tinier, more efficient switches for optical computing and solar panels

Nanshu Lu (video)

Soft, flexible electronics bond to skin and even organs for better health monitoring

Joyce Poon (video)

A tiny roller coaster for light could help keep data ­centers cool

Pratheev Sreetharan (video)

Mass-producible tiny machines snap into place like objects in a pop-up book

Bozhi Tian (video)

Artificial tissue that can monitor and improve health down to the level of individual cells

Zheng Wang (video)

Slowing light to help chips cope with optical data

Baile Zhang

A new type of invisibility cloak made from a common material can work with larger objects

See This Years' Winners

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