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Environment

Metal makes for a promising alternative to fossil fuels

Clean fuels come in many forms, but burning iron or aluminum seems to be stretching the definition – unless you ask a team of scientists led by McGill University, who see a low-carbon future that runs on metal. The team is studying the combustion characteristics of metal powders to determine whether such powders could provide a cleaner, more viable alternative to fossil fuels than hydrogen, biofuels, or electric batteries.Read More

Unique production process could slash diesel CO2 emissions

A join team of researchers from Belgium's KU Leuven and from Utrecht University in the Netherlands has examined the fuel production process, developing a new method that allows for cleaner diesel. According to the team, the technique could easily be scaled up to industrial levels for use within the next decade.Read More

Gibraltar to suck up 15 percent of its power from waves

While world leaders meet in Paris to discuss reducing carbon emissions believed to contribute to climate change, the government of Gibraltar is putting its own renewable energy plan into action. The iconic British territory has inked a deal with Eco Wave Power to install a 5-megawatt wave energy power station to harvest electricity from the rising and falling waters of the Mediterranean. Read More

Epson's PaperLab brings office paper recycling in-house

Even with the efficiency of today's digital communications, the modern office still churns through its fair share of paper. The typical recycling process involves a lot of water and transporting of material to an off-site facility, but printer company Epson says it has a more efficient and manageable solution. Its newly-announced PaperLab machine breaks down workplace wastepaper and fashions it into fresh sheets on-site, while using only a tiny amount of water.Read More

Boeing may convert forestry waste into biofuel

If a recently-announced consortium of scientists and aviation companies is successful, you could one day be flying in jets powered by the remains of decay – otherwise known as biofuel from forest-industry waste. The project will be led by the University of British Columbia (UBC) and NORAM Engineering and Constructors, and includes aviation and related companies Boeing, Air Canada, WestJet, SkyNRG and Bombardier.Read More

High-tech camera allows us to see invisible methane gas

Although methane is one of the most potent of the greenhouses gases, scientists still aren't entirely clear on all of its ground-based sources. That's why researchers from Sweden's Linköping and Stockholm universities have created a camera that's capable of imaging methane in real time. They say that it could find use in monitoring sources such as sludge deposits, combustion processes, farms and lakes.Read More

Sponge made from layers of nanosheets shows promise in soaking up oil spills

Five years on and questions still remain over the Deepwater Horizons oil spill, where millions of gallons of crude oil were spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps the most pressing is how oil might be best cleaned up should such an environmental catastrophe occur in the future. A team of Australian researchers claims to have found an answer, developing a special porous material that is claimed to soak up to 33 times its own weight in oil and organic solvents.Read More

New process produces hydrogen from methane, without emitting CO2

Natural gas accounts for over 28 percent of US energy consumption. Its main component, methane, is a widely-used fossil fuel but also a major contributor to rising CO2 levels, and thus climate change. To address this issue, researchers from the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a process that extracts the energy content of methane, in the form hydrogen, without producing carbon dioxide.Read More

New power cell taps into "blue-green" power source

Researchers from Concordia University in Montreal are looking to tap into what may be the most plentiful yet overlooked source of power in the world. The group has invented a power cell that harnesses the electricity created during the natural processes of photosynthesis and respiration in blue-green algae.Read More

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