Environment

Engineers are Helping Bill Gates Reinvent the Toilet

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has begun a “Reinvent the Toilet” competition and awarded $3 million to researchers at eight universities, challenging them to use recent technology to create models that do not need to be connected to sewers, water, and electricity, and that cost less than pennies per person a day to use. Later prizes will include financing for one or more winning prototypes to be tested and produced commercially.

Posted in: Articles, Green Design & Manufacturing, Product development, Waste materials
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Hybrid Solar System For Rooftop Hydrogen

Instead of systems based on standard solar panels, Duke University engineer Nico Hotz proposes a hybrid option in which sunlight heats a combination of water and methanol in a maze of glass tubes on a rooftop. After two catalytic reactions, the system produces hydrogen that can be stored and used on demand in fuel cells.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Making Durable Synthetic Catalysts for Energy Storage

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers have used a common protein to guide the design of a material that can make hydrogen gas. The synthetic material works ten times faster than the original protein found in water-dwelling microbes - clocking in at 100,000 molecules of hydrogen gas every second.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Understanding How the Ocean Impacts Climate Change

Lisa Collins, an environmental studies lecturer at the University of Southern California, spent four years collecting samples from floating sediment traps in the San Pedro Basin off the Los Angeles coast, giving scientists a peek at how much carbon is locked up in the ocean and where it comes from.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases
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Making Biomass Economically Viable

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center have found a potential key for unlocking the energy potential from non-edible biomass materials such as corn leaves and stalks, or switch grass.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Alternative Fuels, Biomass, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Carbon Dioxide Removal via Passive Thermal Approaches

A regenerable approach to separate carbon dioxide from other cabin gases by means of cooling until the carbon dioxide forms carbon dioxide ice on the walls of the physical device has been developed. Currently, NASA space vehicles remove carbon dioxide by reaction with lithium hydroxide (LiOH) or by adsorption to an amine, a zeolite, or other sorbent.
Posted in: Briefs, GDM, Briefs, TSP, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies
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Polymer Electrolyte-Based Ambient Temperature Oxygen Microsensors for Environmental Monitoring

An ambient temperature oxygen microsensor, based on a Nafion polymer electrolyte, has been developed. A challenge in the operation of Nafion-based sensor systems is that the conductivity of Nafion film depends on the humidity in the film. Nafion film loses conductivity when the moisture content in the film is too low, which can affect sensor operation.
Posted in: Briefs, GDM, Briefs, TSP, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Virginia Tech Wins EcoCAR Competition

A team of students from Virginia Tech University won EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge after designing and building an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) using E85 (ethanol). Virginia Tech competed against 15 other universities to take home the top prize of the three-year competition.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Alternative Fuels, Biomass, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Green Design & Manufacturing, Transportation
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New Hope for Hydrogen Energy

Chemistry researchers at the University of Adelaide, Australia are exploring how metal nanoparticles act as highly efficient catalysts in using solar radiation to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases
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Capturing and Using Waste Heat from Cars, Factories, and Power Plants

New technology is being developed at Oregon State University to capture and use the low-to-medium grade waste heat from automobiles, diesel generators, or factories and electrical utilities. The new systems should be able to use much of that waste heat either in cooling or the production of electricity.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Geothermal Power, Solar Power, Thermoelectrics, Green Design & Manufacturing, Transportation
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