British multimillionaire and eco-activist Dale Vince has announced that his business is ready to produce sustainable diamonds. The energy required for this comes from green power plants, and the raw materials come directly from the air.
In the 21st century, more and more new technologies begin to resemble the most real alchemy or magic. To create jewelry straight out of thin air - why not the dream of any dreamer at all times? To bring this fairy tale to life, I had to work hard.
Sky Diamond has been working for over five years to improve its technology. The main goal was to create diamonds that are completely identical to "natural" ones. The result was impressive: According to The Guardian, the "celestial diamonds" received certification from the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
Naturally identical diamonds are produced by chemical vapor deposition. For this, a so-called diamond grain, a microscopic crystallization center, is placed in a reactor ("mill"). Carbon-enriched methane is added to the chamber and heated to 8000 degrees.
At the current level, Sky Diamond's production capacity is capable of growing 200 carats of diamonds (40 grams) per month. In 2021, according to Vince, the enterprise can scale its reactor fivefold. At the same time, the product will have a negative carbon footprint - and this is another advantage of "heavenly diamonds".
To obtain methane from atmospheric air, carbon dioxide is captured, and the necessary hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis from rain moisture. All electricity to the Gloucestershire factory in the west of England comes from renewable energy. After all, Dale got rich thanks to his company Ecotricity, which specializes in green electricity generation - based on wind turbines and solar panels.
The structure of artificial gemstones is identical to that obtained by traditional methods from the earth. And although a negligible amount of carbon is spent on their production, Sky Diamond plans to indirectly improve the planet's ecology. By creating artificial diamonds, the company intends to push the “natural” ones out of the market and thus eliminate their carbon footprint.
Sky Diamond has conducted a study of the environmental impact of diamond mining. To get one carat of the mass of a diamond, you need to move a thousand tons of rocks, you need to spend about four thousand liters of water, and the total carbon dioxide emissions will amount to more than 100 kilograms. Added to this are the developed organized crime, unfavorable economic and social conditions, which are often associated with the extraction of precious stones.
In addition, Vince wants to revolutionize the sale of diamonds. Now the cost of each stone is determined by an appraiser. With the same mass and quality of the crystal itself, it can differ by more than half. It depends on the place of extraction, the personality of the evaluating expert, the history of the stone, and even the personal characteristics of the seller or buyer. Dale intends to set a uniform price for his products based on the weight of the diamond, which will make gems more affordable for everyone.