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Environment

Harvested rice plants could be used for both biofuel and animal feed (Photo: Shutterstock)...

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

One ton of mineral paper can be created from 235 kg of pellets or PET beads

A group of young entrepreneurs from Mexico has developed a system that converts PET bottles into mineral paper and which they claim will save up to 20 trees and 56,000 liters of water per ton of paper produced. The photodegradable, waterproof paper can be used to print books, boxes and general stationery.  Read More

The MCS costs about US$500

According to the World Gold Council, about 195,300 tons of gold have been dug out of the ground in all of human history. Countless lives have been lost obtaining the rare metal, and in the developing world, which currently accounts for 20 percent of the world's gold production, small-scale mining and smelting under primitive conditions poses a major health hazard. To help alleviate this, a team from Argonne National Laboratory and the US Environmental Protection Agency are developing a prototype mercury capture system to reduce heavy metal pollution.  Read More

The banded sedimentary rock layers of the Willwood formation in Wyoming provide clues as t...

There's an element of déjà vu in the most recent political news on climate change: UN-led talks, like the recent Lima summit, that end with disgruntled environmentalists and plans for yet another summit. At this point, our best hope is to mitigate the effects of global warming (which is occurring faster than previously thought) and, if possible, keep temperature rises to a maximum of 2° C (3.6° F). While the future of the planet looks uncertain with unpredictable climate patterns, U.S researchers looking to the past to gain a better understanding of modern climate change have found the rate of modern, human-caused global warming resembles that which occurred almost 56 million years ago much more closely than previously thought.  Read More

Dr Shahriar Hossain is developing a wind turbine that uses a magnesium diboride supercondu...

Conventional offshore wind turbines are expensive and complicated pieces of machinery – in a large part because of their complex and maintenance-intensive gearboxes. Dr Shahriar Hossain from the University of Wollongong in Australia is looking to slash production costs and drastically improve efficiency replacing these gearboxes with a superconducting coil.  Read More

The Goodwell toothbrush is designed as a more eco-friendly way to brush your teeth

If we assume everybody is acting on the advice of their dentist and replacing their toothbrush every few months, then there's likely a lot of frayed bristles laying in landfill right now. But must our dental care devices take on such as short lifespan? The Goodwell open-source toothbrush is a modern take on oral hygiene, built from eco-friendly materials and made to last until you haven't got any teeth left to brush.  Read More

Magic Dirt premium potting soil and Bioproduct Innovation of the Year award winner

Magic Dirt may sound like the soil used by Jack to grow his beans, but the Bioproduct Innovation of the Year award winner is just one result of a process that’s addressing the environmental issues caused by effluence from factory farm feedlots. The process starts with anaerobic digesters, specifically a patented two-stage model from Wisconsin-based DVO, which more efficiently converts manure into three valuable byproducts.  Read More

The predictive abilities of big data is being used to improve farming outcomes (Photo: Shu...

Data scientists studying crop growth and weather patterns in Colombia have advised rice farmers not to plant crops, saving millions of dollars. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Colombian Rice Growers Federation have developed a computer model that can work out what crops work best under specific weather conditions in certain areas.  Read More

Ambi Climate takes advantage of a Wi-Fi connection to evaluate climate and optimize the pe...

Your typical air conditioning unit in an apartment or home is a stupid creature, failing to work intelligently to create the most comfortable temperature environment for you in the most efficient way. Start up Ambi Climate thinks it has built the better brain to solve this issue in the form of a new standalone device and smartphone app that tell your air conditioner how to optimize its performance.  Read More

The Samson is designed to be rowed from New York City to Paris

Like many fathers with young children, experienced rower Andras Bakos is concerned about what sort of shape the environment will be in by the time his son grows up. That's why in 2011, he began planning a trans-Atlantic rowing expedition to raise awareness of environmental issues. The boat that he had custom-built for the trip is now ready to go, and it looks like it could just as well be used for rowing to Mars.  Read More

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