Environment

Bacteria Provide Cleanup of Oil Spills and Wastewater

NASA partnership leads to innovation on the microbial scale.Given the size of our planet and its wealth of resources, it is easy to forget that those resources are finite. As Earth’s human population continues to grow, the questions of how to effectively limit and recycle waste, avoid environmental contamination, and make the most of water and fuel reserves become all the more pressing.

Posted in: Articles, Green Design & Manufacturing

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New Materials May Cut Energy Costs for Carbon Capture

A study of over four million absorbent minerals has determined that industrial minerals called zeolites could help electricity producers slash as much as 30 percent of the parasitic energy costs associated with removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions. The research was done by scientists at Rice University, UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Electric Power Research Institute.

Posted in: News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies, Materials

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Technology Awarded for Improving Submarine Air Quality

Creators of a nanotech-based system that captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere within a submarine while providing a more environmentally friendly removal process have won the Federal Laboratory Consortium Interagency Partnership Award for 2012. The technology — Self Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports, or SAMMS — is destined for incorporation into future submarines.

Posted in: News, News, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies, Materials, Nanotechnology

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Copper-Gold Nanoparticles Efficiently Convert Carbon Dioxide

Copper is one of the few metals that can turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels with relatively little energy, but it is temperamental and easily oxidized. MIT researchers have engineered nanoparticles of copper mixed with gold - which is resistant to corrosion and oxidation - making the copper much more stable. They coated electrodes with the hybrid nanoparticles and found that much less energy was needed for conversion.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies, Materials, Metals, Nanotechnology

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Using Electricity to Generate Alternative Fuel

Electrical energy generated by various methods can be difficult to store efficiently. Chemical batteries, hydraulic pumping, and water splitting suffer from low energy-density storage or incompatibility with current transportation infrastructure. UCLA researchers have demonstrated a method for storing electrical energy as chemical energy in higher alcohols, which can be used as liquid transportation fuels.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Alternative Fuels, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Greenhouse Gases

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Nanotrees Turn Sunshine into Hydrogen Fuel

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. Nanowires, which are made from abundant natural materials like silicon and zinc oxide, offer a cheap way to deliver hydrogen fuel on a mass scale.

Posted in: News, News, Alternative Fuels, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Greenhouse Gases, Nanotechnology

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Insect Biochemistry & Generating Electricity

Touted as possible first responders, insect cyborgs could be the research community's next big breakthrough. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have discovered that an insect's internal chemicals can be converted to electricity - potentially providing power to sensors and recording devices.

Posted in: News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Monitoring, Sensors, Transducers

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