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Environment

In a new non-toxic process, cinnamon has been used to render nanoparticles from gold salts...

Gold nanoparticles, while showing great promise in fields such as electronics, medical imaging and cancer treatment, nonetheless involve a fairly environmentally-unfriendly production process. Typically, they are produced via liquid chemical methods that involve the use of various noxious substances, such as chlorauric acid. As the field of nanotechnology grows, so do concerns over the consequences for the Earth. University of Missouri scientist Kattesh Katti has found a new method for producing gold nanoparticles that does away with almost all of the toxic agents... and replaces them with cinnamon.  Read More

Plastisoil is a concrete-like substance made from discarded plastic bottles, that rain wat...

A new cement-like material that could be used to form sidewalks, bike and jogging paths, driveways and parking lots, may be able to lessen two environmental problems, namely plastic waste and polluted rainwater runoff. The substance is called Plastisoil, and it was developed by Naji Khoury, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Temple University in Philadelphia. In order to make Plastisoil, discarded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles are pulverized and mixed with soil, and then that mixture is blended with a coarse aggregate and heated. The result is a hard yet non-watertight substance, similar to pervious concrete or porous asphalt.  Read More

The Groasis Waterboxx is a low-tech device that helps saplings grow into trees in inhospit...

It’s not often that you hear about an invention that was modeled after bird poop, but there’s a first time for everything. In fact, this fecally-inspired device could ultimately be responsible for reforesting billion of acres of parched land, and it just won Popular Science’s Best Invention 2010 award. It’s called the Groasis Waterboxx, and it’s a low-tech product that helps seeds or saplings grow into strong trees in eroded, arid and rocky environments.  Read More

A good breakdown ... author of the thesis on using a technique called pyrolisis to decompo...

The world practically runs on pneumatic tires, but getting rid of them is an environmental nightmare. Apart from playground flooring material, running tracks for athletes and horses and unfashionable footwear, disposing of or reusing tires has proven to be extremely problematic (remember the Osborne artificial reef off Ft Lauderdale, Florida, made from old tires? It became an environmental disaster and had to be removed by the US Military). Now a scientist at the University of Basque Country, Spain, has used the process of pyrolisis to decompose and reuse the left-over components of pneumatic tires.  Read More

'Protocell drivers' in a flask surrounded by carbon structures, in the Hylozoic Ground ins...

Architects have been looking at ways to improve city buildings with living walls and living roofs that add some much needed greenery and help remove carbon from the atmosphere. Now researchers are looking at using a different sort of “living “ material created from protocells – bubbles of oil in an aqueous fluid sensitive to light or different chemicals – to create a coral-like skin that could be used to clad city buildings, build carbon-negative architecture and even "grow" reefs to stabilize the city of Venice.  Read More

Designers have completed the largest and most biologically diverse living wall in Surrey, ...

Not content with having the largest non-industrial living roof in Canada and North America, designers in Canada have gone one step further with the completion of the largest and most biologically diverse living wall in North America. Green wall designers Green Over Grey recently completed work on the living wall at the Semiahmoo Public Library and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Facility in Surrey, British Columbia, which consists of a unique design covering nearly 3,000 square feet (279 square meters) and consisting of over 10,000 individual plants.  Read More

The Eco-Cool Remodel Tool allows you to take a virtual tour through a house for green impr...

King County in Washington has launched two new online initiatives to help you make ecologically-informed decisions with regards to your next home remodel: a virtual home tour with lots of tips and ideas for greening up your house, and Eco-Cribz, a video diary of local homeowners as they undertake the green transformation of their homes.  Read More

The bauxite residue container pond spill near Kolontar, Hungary

It might sound like fighting fire with fire, but geologist Chen Zhu proposes the application of another industrial waste to the Hungarian bauxite residue spill, with the aim of reducing toxicity via a technique called carbon sequestration. While he says it wouldn't render the residue completely harmless, it would at least minimize the environmental damage.  Read More

The mushroom-shaped solar evaporators of the winning Project Umbrella entry

Mushroom-shaped solar evaporators have taken out first place in a competition asking architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, students and environmental professionals to create an innovative urban vision for a several-mile-long development zone on the eastern edge of downtown LA. The Project Umbrella submission features a series of umbrella-like structures designed to clarify black water from city sewage which would then be used to encourage the growth of surrounding trees and plants.  Read More

Wind farms can cause change in local temperatures (Photo: Gizmag)

The benefits of wind farms in terms of global climate change are well recognized but according to researchers at the University of Illinois they can also affect local climates as well. The researchers observed that the area immediately surrounding a wind farm is slightly warmer at night and slightly cooler during the day compared to the rest of the region. The discovery could allow for strategies to mitigate those effects in areas where they are undesirable, or take advantage of them in others.  Read More

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