April 16, 2019
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Researchers explore machine learning to automate sorting of microcapsules in real-time

Jeremy Thomas/LLNL

Micro-Encapsulated CO2 Sorbents (MECS) — tiny, reusable capsules full of a sodium carbonate solution that can absorb carbon dioxide from the air — are a promising technology for capturing carbon from the atmosphere. To create the caviar-like objects, scientists run three fluids through a series of microfluidic components to create drops that turn into capsules when exposed to ultraviolet light downstream. A new image-based machine learning algorithm can detect problem capsules and trigger a response up to 40 times per second, eliminating the monotonous task of monitoring microcapsule manufacture, saving on wasted material. Read more at LLNL News.