Diamond Superconductors Could Be The Future of Green Vehicles

In today’s market, green vehicles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Perhaps one of the most important factors in today's market is the way that a green vehicle utilizes a particular alternative fuel in a way that  reduces carbon emissions and helps the environment. Biofuels, for example, continue to remain popular in many markets while many manufacturers are more enthusiastic about the use of electrics to power automobiles or other transportation methods. As automobile manufacturers concern themselves with primarily with the use of batteries for electric power or a new form of biofuel, however, one group of researchers are trying to develop a more unlikely method of powering an electric car: diamonds.

Though it sounds a bit more like science fiction than an actual, viable means of powering an automobile, researchers at the Diamond Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan believe that they are getting close to fully developing a way of using artificial diamonds to act as a means of conducting electricity in a green vehicle. These particular diamonds are created artificially so that they can fit perfectly into the role they are being designed to undertake. The group at AIST has found a way to accelerate the normal process of breaking down methane gas in a microwave environment that creates a more suitable diamond faster.

Forged in temperatures that reach nearly 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit, the artificial diamonds are 2.3 centimeters long and around 0.4 millimeter thick, a size that is actually fairly large as far as artificial diamonds of this type are concerned. The element that makes AIST’s artificial diamonds unique is the addition of boric acid which, according to the researcher at AIST, gives the diamond a higher thermal radiation and voltage resistance.

According to the head of the research team, Shinichi Shikata, the diamond conductors they are designing could be easily mass produced and utilized in green vehicles. If implemented on a wide scale, Shikata believes that diamond conductor based electric vehicles would be able to significantly cut down on the amount of carbon emissions being produced around the world as well as reducing the amount of electricity needed to run a hybrid or electric car.

Shikata and the team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology are hoping to have the diamond superconductors ready for use in green vehicles within the next ten to fifteen years. While their product may be ready however, it remains to be seen if automobile manufacturers will be keen to design cars around the use of these artificial diamonds. Considering the fact that they seem to be a far cry from most of the systems currently in use or in development, it is possible that most major automobile manufacturers might be resistant to adopting the artificial diamonds for their electric cars.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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