Burnt bread makes an excellent carbon foam

Plazma Inferno!

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One day at breakfast, Dr. Yibin Li at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China realized that bread — with its fluffy, porous texture — had just the structure for producing ideal carbon foam. So, the lab baked bread and subjected it to pyrolysis, a chemical reaction that converts organic compounds into mostly carbon by heating them in the absence of oxygen.
Additionally, the researchers were able to control the size of the pores by tinkering with the amount of yeast and water they used to bake the bread. Larger and more disordered pore structures could be created by adding either more yeast or water.
The resulting carbon foam was stiff, strong, and light-weight.
Further tests demonstrated that the foam retained its shape after being soaked in alcohol and burned, demonstrating its resistance to fire. This bread-derived carbon foam also had low thermal conductivity as well as an ability to shield electromagnetic fields. These features, combined with its being strong and light-weight, make the team’s carbon foam potentially useful to aerospace engineers.