Process Produces Renewable Car Tires from Trees and Grasses

This discovery could also impact other technologically advanced rubber-based products.

A team of researchers has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses. Conventional car tires are viewed as environmentally unfriendly because they are predominantly made from fossil fuels. The car tires produced from biomass that includes trees and grasses would be identical to existing car tires, with the same chemical makeup, color, shape, and performance.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Tires and traction, Environmental technologies, Biological sciences, Manufacturing processes, Chemicals

Flood Dashboard 2.0

Google Maps and Google Earth allow the development of customized displays, but such displays must be constructed by a software developer. The Flood Dashboard allows non-technical users to utilize a simple Web form to build and present custom displays. It is a Ruby on Rails 4 application that allows users to build custom geospatial displays, distribute bulletins, and show hydrological data in a clean Web display. This system allows users a greater situation awareness of hydrological activity that will hopefully enable decision-makers to respond more quickly and in a more informed manner to natural disasters.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Terrain, Water, Displays, Displays, Disaster and emergency management, Emergency management

Ammonia Recovery System for Wastewater

NASA's Ammonia Recovery System for Wastewater was developed for potential use as part of the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) on the International Space Station. The system uses an affordable media that is highly selective for ammonia. Ammonia concentrations in wastewater as high as 100,000 ppm can be reduced to less than 1 ppm. ECLSS conditions require low power usage, and the avoidance of high-temperature and high-pressure operations. The state-of-the-art for ammonia removal involves biological processes or ion exchange, and neither of these meets NASA's ammonia capture/recovery needs. Biological processes have high complexity, high volume requirements, and introduce contaminants in the effluent. Ion exchange is not very selective for ammonia, and requires regeneration, which requires large amounts of consumables and produces impure ammonia.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing

Electrochemical Method for Removing Pollutants from Water

This method removes even extremely low levels of organic contaminants such as pesticides, chemical waste products, and pharmaceuticals.

When removing very dilute concentrations of pollutants from water, existing separation methods tend to be energy- and chemical-intensive. A new method was developed that could provide a selective alternative for removing even extremely low levels of unwanted compounds. The method relies on an electrochemical process to selectively remove organic contaminants such as pesticides, chemical waste products, and pharmaceuticals, even when these are present in small, yet dangerous concentrations. The approach also addresses key limitations of conventional electrochemical separation methods such as acidity fluctuations and losses in performance that can happen as a result of competing surface reactions.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Water treatment, Energy conservation, Research and development, Chemicals

Unleashing RAPID

The Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge (RAPID, here) is a river routing model. Given surface and groundwater inflow to rivers, this model can compute the flow and volume of water everywhere in river networks made out of many thousands of reaches. The design of RAPID allows it to be adapted to any river network, if given basic connectivity information. RAPID uses a matrix version of the Muskingum method, and has an automated parameter estimation procedure that allows finding optimal model parameters based on available gauge measurements.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Computer simulation, Cartography, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Cartography, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Water

Methods for Purifying Enzymes for Mycoremediation

This process applies to remediation and restoration of soils contaminated by fuel, polychlorinated biphenyl wastes, etc. While there can be a general beneficial effect of microbial communities, individual plant-fungus combinations can vary in their efficacy in removal of pollutants from the environment. Selection of the most effective combination of plants and fungi is very important for achieving the desired benefits. Not all fungi are created equal, as some die off in contaminated soils. Having a set of enzymes from fungi specifically adapted to conditions in contaminated soils and use of native plant/fungal combinations is a huge advantage. Ectomycorrhizal (EM) mediated remediation of phenolic-based contamination through use of specifically adapted soil and enzymes utilizes plant/fungal combinations that are specifically adapted to conditions created by phenolic application to soils, and the abilities of EM fungi to oxidize these compounds. This platform can be adapted to other ecosystems through field assessments of the EM community in each new site.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Land pollution, Sustainable development, Bacteria

Land Cover Viewer

The Land Use Land Cover Viewer is an online visualization tool that enables users to view land use land cover maps. The maps were developed under the Land Cover Mapping for Green House Gas (GHG) Inventories project, which sought to enable SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa countries to have data to report on GHG inventories as required by UNFCCC. The countries for which land cover maps are available are Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Lesotho. The viewer has maps for all nine countries for different epochs. Each country for each epoch has four to six maps based on two different classifications: country-specific and EPA. In addition to the viewer having the basic online map elements (legend, zoom, etc.), it has statistics modules that display the basic statistics of the displayed map based on a selection by the user.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Cartography, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Cartography, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Greenhouse gas emissions, Weather and climate


The Obs4MIPS.py software package is a front end to an existing free software package written by Lawrence Livermore National Lab, called “Climate Model Output Rewriter” (CMOR2), and reads in a multitude of standard data formats such as netcdf3, netcdf4, Grads control files, MATLAB data files, or a list of netCDF files. The software prepares Earth Science Observational (obs4MIPs) data or Climate Modeling Reanalysis (ana4MIPs) data for publication in the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Earth System Grid Federation system (ESGF). It converts the data into a netCDF file following the Climate and Forecast (CF) metadata convention as specified by Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Obs4MIPs.py addresses the differences in input data format, variable definition, and Global Attribute requirements that exist within observational and re-analyses datasets.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, CAD / CAM / CAE, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Weather and climate, Data management

System, Apparatus, and Method for Liquid Purification

Scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a unique water purification method that can be used for water recycling or point-of-use applications. Originally developed as a means to recycle water in space, this technology has applications in industrial water treatment, water recycling, and water purification for military bases, disaster sites, and regions without easy access to clean water. Relying on only electrical energy, this technology uses plasma-generated reactive species to decompose organic contaminants, ranging from submicron particles to water soluble organics like glycol, ethanol, and industrial dyes.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Water reclamation, Water treatment, Electric power

WX Subsystem Weather Station

This instrument can be used by any organization that needs to monitor weather or the effects of weather.

The WX Subsystem Weather Station was designed for use as part of the Weather Instrumentation (WX) Subsystem for the Constellation Program (CxP) to be implemented in the Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center. The weather stations need to be rugged, robust, and reliable. Although this equipment is not to be located in hazardous zones, it is still required to withstand harsh environmental conditions typical of the launch environment. Health management considerations are incorporated in the design so the user can be notified remotely when sensors, power supplies, dataloggers, etc. require service or maintenance.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Weather and climate, Durability, Reliability, Durability, Reliability, Test equipment and instrumentation

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