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Norwegian University of Science and Technology

— Environment

Clay could be used for inexpensive carbon capture

By - April 10, 2015 1 Picture
In order to minimize the amount of human-produced greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, numerous scientists have studied materials that could be used to capture excess carbon dioxide at one of its main sources – industrial smokestacks. Such substances have included metal-organic framework materials, ionic liquids, and even a sea urchin-inspired material. Unfortunately, however, not everything that's been suggested is inexpensive or easy to produce. That said, Norwegian researchers now believe that humble clay could do the job just fine. Read More
— Environment

Using 'dirty silicon' to cut the cost of solar cells

By - November 5, 2014 5 Pictures
Most everyone not vested in oil and gas agrees that renewable energies such as solar are a more sustainable option, but cost remains an issue. To make solar more competitive by addressing the high cost of solar cell production, researchers out of Norway have developed a method that could bring down the amount of silicon used per unit area by as much as 90 percent. The price of silicon is a major driver in the cost of solar panels. Read More
— Science

Turning up the heat to make kelp a viable source of biofuel

By - October 17, 2014 1 Picture
Biofuels may indeed offer a greener alternative to fossil fuels, but they do raise at least one concern – crops grown as biofuel feedstock could take up farmland and use water that would otherwise be used to grow crops for much-needed food. That's why some scientists have looked to seaweed as a feedstock. Kelp is particularly attractive, in that it's abundant and grows extremely quickly, although its fuel yields haven't been particularly impressive. That could be about to change, however, thanks to a newly-developed hydrothermal process. Read More
— Electronics

Scientists create ultra-thin, cheap, flexible, transparent graphene semiconductors

By - September 28, 2012 1 Picture
Ordinarily, electronics are made with silicon semiconductors that are rigid, opaque, and about half a millimeter thick. Thanks to research being carried out at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, however, that may be about to change. Led by Dr. Helge Weman and Prof. Bjørn-Ove Fimland, a team there has developed a method of making semiconductors out of graphene. At a thickness of just one micrometer, they are flexible and transparent. Also, because they require so little raw material, they should be considerably cheaper to manufacture than their silicon counterparts. Read More
— Science

New approach promises more accurate speech recognition software

By - August 24, 2012 1 Picture
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are combining two of the best-known approaches to automatic speech recognition to build a better and language-independent speech-to-text algorithm that can recognize the language being spoken in under a minute, transcribe languages on the brink of extinction, and make the dream of ever present voice-controlled electronics just a little bit closer. Read More
— Good Thinking

Scientists develop child-like synthetic voice for children who can't speak

By - February 21, 2012 1 Picture
You may think that Stephen Hawking’s synthesized voice sounds a little ... unusual, but imagine how much weirder it would be to witness a child using that same adult voice to communicate. For many children who are unable to speak, however, they have no choice but to use assistive devices that utilize just such a voice. Now, help may be on the way. Norwegian researchers have developed a new method of creating synthetic speech, that actually sounds like it is being spoken by a child. Such technology could also allow computers to better recognize words spoken to them by young users. Read More
— Sports

Douchebag designed to transport skis with ease

By - January 8, 2012 10 Pictures
Douche bags at ski hills aren't a new phenomenon. Whether it's the aggressive adrenalin junkies yelling at you from the lifts in hopes you'll fall in glorious YouTube-ranking fashion or the rich folks in $5,000 fur-lined one-piece ski suits, they're everywhere. Now there's a new kind of a Douchebag that is designed to actually make your ski day more fun. Douchebags in this case is simply a clever (it got your attention, didn't it?) name for a newly launched ski accessories company whose first product is a feature-filled ski bag that should make getting to and from the slopes - whether it be flying and shuttling to an exotic resort or just driving to your local hill - easier and more efficient. Read More
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