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Graphene consists of carbon atoms only one atomic layer thick, with the unique characteris...

Scientists have long known the unique properties of graphene, a material just one-atom thick that shows promise as a replacement for silicon in electronics of the future. One of the difficulties is that unpredictable ripples form in graphene when exposed to temperature changes, but now scientists are learning more about how to control formation of these ripples, which could open up a new field of research - strain-based graphene electronics.  Read More

An 'odako' bundle with trailing nanotubes

Researchers at Houston’s Rice University have developed a method for making bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) dubbed “odako”. Eventually, the method may realize meter-long strands of nanotubes that are no wider than a piece of DNA which could be used in lightweight, super-efficient power-transmission lines, in ultra-strong and lightning-resistant materials for airplanes, and may also prove useful in batteries, fuel cells and microelectronics.  Read More

Hybrid! Hail a cab from Colin Paton and there's a good chance you'll get in a Toyota Prius...

Scottish council, West Lothian (near Edinburgh), has given the green light to a local cab company to run a fleet of Toyota Prius vehicles. The decision makes Calder Cabs the first cab company in Scotland to offer the hybrid cars after the council determined that the Prius could be licensed as a private hire vehicle.  Read More

A part of Moofushi coral reef hit by coral bleaching
 Pic credit: Bruno de Giusti

We recently looked at problems with a last resort solution to counteract global warming by artificially shading the Earth from sunlight by injecting sulphur or small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere. Now a new study from the Carnegie Institution has thrown further doubt on the effectiveness of such a proposal. Although it may lower the planet’s temperature by a couple of degrees, it would do little to stop the acidification of the world’s oceans that threatens coral reefs and other marine life.  Read More

The new study by researchers at the University of California looks beyond the exhaust pipe...

By looking at the environmental impact of passenger transport – whether it be trains, planes or automobiles – beyond the exhaust fumes spewing from its collective tail pipe, researchers in the United States have discovered a significant spike in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. By taking into account transport support systems – which includes sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, as well as the construction and maintenance of infrastructure – researchers at the University of California hope to provide a more detailed view for transport planners and policy makers. And produce a better outcome for the environment.  Read More

A graphene material sample. Pic credit: Georgia Tech/Gary Meek

Graphene, the one-atom-thick gauze of carbon atoms resembling chicken wire first isolated in 2004, continues to find new and wondrous applications. It has already been used to create the world’s smallest transistor and now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have experimentally demonstrated the potential for graphene to replace copper for interconnects in future generations of integrated circuits.  Read More

Graphene is a one-atom-thick gauze of carbon atoms resembling chicken wire (Image: Dr Thom...

Since its discovery in 2004 graphene has promised some truly astounding developments in the realm of computer technology. We’ve previously looked at how graphene could provide the means to keep pace with Moore’s Law. Now engineers at Ohio State University are developing a technique for mass-producing computer chips made from graphene that meshes with standard chip-making practices.  Read More

The world's largest solar power facility, located near Kramer Junction, California, consis...

The concept of delaying global warming by adding particles into the upper atmosphere to cool the climate could unintentionally reduce peak electricity generated by large solar power plants by as much as one-fifth, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Read More

Ultramafic rocks (in red) that potentially could absorb CO2 (Image: U.S. Geological Survey...

The debate about the benefits of using Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) to fight against climate change is ongoing. One one hand there are reservations regarding suitable sequestration sites that provide sufficient security to store CO2 for centuries as well as the cost of implementing such a system, which could draw important funds away from the development of renewable energy technologies. On the other, we are still heavily reliant on burning fossil fuels to produce energy and this infrastructure can't be replaced overnight. CCS is obviously attractive to existing power generation companies as it allows them to keep hold of their existing infrastructure and for this reason, it is more than likely that CSS schemes will continue to gather momentum. So where to we can CO2 be stored? Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey have produced a new report that maps large rock formations in the United States that can also absorb CO2 and are exploring ways to speed up the CCS process.  Read More

A coal-fueled power plant

While we are constantly covering advances in alternative energies the hard fact is that we are heavily reliant on the burning of fossil fuels to meet our energy needs - and in the medium term, given that the political will and economic benefits of finding green solutions is only just starting to gather momentum, we are stuck with them. That means we have to clean them up. We recently covered the discovery by Indian scientists of naturally occurring bacteria that convert CO2 into calcium carbonate and could be used on existing fossil fuel fired power plants and now Colorado based company, ION Engineering, have developed technology that could be used in a similar way to economically remove CO2 and other contaminants from fossil fuel power plant emissions and raw natural gas.  Read More

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