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Emissions


— Automotive

Volkswagen proposes simple technical fixes for diesel cheat in Europe

The Volkswagen Group has been in a lot of hot water since the "dieselgate" scandal began. When it came to light that VW had been using a "defeat device" on its diesel vehicles to circumvent official emission testing procedures, the company quickly admitted to its wrongdoing and has been working to comply with regulators and find a fix. In Europe, that fix may be very simple. This week, the German authorities accepted the small technical change and software upgrade proposed by VW.

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— Automotive

Volkswagen admits "defeat device" used to circumvent US emissions tests

Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi may currently be in Frankfurt showcasing their wares, but the attention of the boardrooms of both companies is likely to be elsewhere. The US EPA has issued Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. with a notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act by running software in their vehicles that turns full emissions controls on only when undergoing official emissions testing.

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— Environment

NASA study predicts devastating droughts during the last half of the century

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
— Environment

MIT's new cement recipe could cut carbon emissions by more than half

As one of our most relied upon construction materials, concrete makes a significant contribution to our overall carbon emissions. Calcium-based substances are heated at high temperatures to form the cement, a process that produces carbon dioxide. But by slightly altering the quantities of materials used, scientists from MIT have uncovered a new method of cement mixing that could reduce these emissions by more than half. Read More
— Good Thinking

Student-designed device reduces gas lawnmower air pollution by over 90 percent

Gas-powered lawnmowers are notorious polluters. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, running a new gas mower for one hour produces as much air pollution as would be generated by 11 typical automobiles being driven for the same amount of time. Switching to an electric or reel mower is certainly one option, but for those applications where it's gotta be gasoline, a team of engineering students from the University of California, Riverside are developing another: an attachment that they claim reduces noxious emissions by over 90 percent. Read More
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