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Environment

A treatment process developed by engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder promises a simpler and more economical way to clean up the wastewater produced by oil and gas operations that is heavily salinated and full of organic contaminants. The technique, which involves the use of a microbe-powered battery, also produces rather than consumes energy. Read More
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a "biobattery" in the form of a highly efficient biogas plant that can turn raw materials like straw, scrap wood and sludge into a variety of useful energy sources including electricity, purified gas and engine oil. The new plant design, currently being put to the test in a prototype plant in Germany, is said to be highly modular and economically viable even at the small scale. Read More
Information and communications technology consumes a full 10 percent of the world’s electricity, meaning that whenever a new data center is designed, its efficiency is of paramount concern. A new project, known as EcoDataCenter, will be the world’s first-climate positive data center, utilizing various techniques and technologies to ensure a positive impact on the wider world. Read More
The same lithium-ion battery technology that powers Tesla’s electric vehicles will be used to develop a battery for the home, according to a statement by CEO Elon Musk during a recent conference call with analysts. The batteries would be used by homes and businesses to store excess energy generated from solar panels during the day, and drawn from at night when panels sit idle. Read More
We're creating more data than ever before – YouTube receives 300 hours' worth of video uploads every minute – and all of those 1s and 0s have to be stored somewhere. With this in mind Apple's €1.7 billion (around US$1.9 billion) European data centers, which will be powered entirely from renewable energy sources, show a commitment to the planet's future. Read More
In January, the VTT Technical Centre of Finland unveiled its decorative, mass-producible organic photovoltaic (OPV) leaves designed to capture energy from interior lighting to power small devices and sensors. Now, the company has followed the logical path and come up with an energy-harvesting tree that generates electricity from a variety of sources. Read More
There's a lot of water constantly moving through the municipal pipelines of most major cities. While the water itself is already destined for various uses, why not harness its flow to produce hydroelectric power? Well, that's exactly what Lucid Energy's LucidPipe Power System does, and Portland, Oregon has just become the latest city to adopt it. Read More
A new NASA study is predicting the occurrence of severe "megadroughts" across the United States in the second half of this century, that are set to be more extreme and prolonged than any droughts that have taken place in the region for the past 1,000 years. According to the study, one of the key driving forces behind the devastating droughts will be the prolific creation of human-produced greenhouse gasses. Read More
Building on methods used by farmers to produce silage for feeding livestock, Japanese researchers have developed a technology for simultaneous biofuel and animal feed production which doesn't require off-site processing. The solid-state fermentation (SSF) system captures ethanol produced as a result of fermentation resulting from wrapping rice plants grown to feed livestock in a plastic-covered bale containing yeast, enzymes and bacteria. Read More

For many people, jellyfish are just an unwelcome addition to a day at the beach. But the gelatinous creatures can seriously affect commercial fishing ventures and even cause the shutdown of power stations when they form into giant "blooms" in the ocean. Researchers at Deakin University in Australia, might be on the way to a solution. Read More

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