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UK Hosting 31 Nations For Carbon2019

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The International Carbon Conference is underway this week at the Lexington Convention Center. WUKY’s Dan Collins has more on what’s new in the world of Carbon.

Titled Carbon2019 for short, the conference this year features attendees from a total of 31 different countries, including Singapore, Liechtenstein and even Kazakhstan—and they’re all here to talk about carbon. But don’t let the word “carbon” confuse you.

“You see people talking about carbon emissions or carbon capture, and really that’s not accurate,” says Rodney Andrews, the Director of UKs Center for Applied Energy Research. “That’s carbon dioxide, that’s the gas that’s produced from combustion of hydro-carbon fuels. We’re talking about the element carbon.”

Andrews says carbon is a big part of our lives, even if we don’t realize it, such as the carbon fiber composites that may be in supporting goods, or airplanes like Boeing’s 787. Carbons are even used to purify air and drinking water.

“They’re in a lot of different things that you see every day, but you might not necessarily recognize them as carbon material,” Andrews says.

While carbon has several unique properties and applications, Andrews says a few research areas have really stood out at this year’s conference, like absorbent carbons, which are used in water and air purification, or the area of energy storage. But what’s on the cutting edge of carbon technologies?

“Graphene,” Andrews says. “That’s a single layer of carbon atoms, and people are really interested in that because it has very unique electronic properties, mechanical properties—so strength and flexibility, all those things.”

The International Carbon Conference at the Lexington Convention Center wraps up on Friday. Next year’s conference will be held in Kyoto, Japan.

For nearly seven years, Dan's voice could be heard on radio frequencies spanning the usable range--but his only listeners were pilots. As a member of the U.S. Air Force, Dan molded his rich, velvety tone coordinating strikes via the airwaves of Iraq and Afghanistan.