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Pollution

Environment

New technique turns common plastic waste into fuel

Polyethylene, the plastic and its derivatives used in making the majority of the world's disposable beverage containers, is produced at a staggering volume of over 100 million metric tons each year, most of which ends up in landfills. Now scientists from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC) in China have found a way to turn this waste into a usable liquid fuel.Read More

Environment

Cashed up Ocean Cleanup project to forge ahead with real-world testing

The mounting trash in the sea is a big problem that will take a large-scale solution. Numerous ideas have been put forward, but perhaps none with the big-picture feel of catching plastic waste in floating arms that stretch for 100 km (62.1 mi) across the ocean surface. The Ocean Cleanup Project has now edged a little close towards this goal, banking more than US$1.5 million in funding to move ahead with the first real-world test of its garbage collection barriers.Read More

Robotics

Reusable microbots make meal of toxic metals

Researchers have developed a tube-shaped microbot that offers a cheaper and more effective way of removing heavy metals than previous methods. The self-propelled microbots use an outer layer of graphene that binds to lead ions it comes in contact with. The scientists found that they can remove 95 percent of lead from polluted water in one hour, and once they have a full payload, they can be cleaned and reused multiple times.Read More

Science

Buoys warn swimmers of dirty water

Is the water in your local lake clean enough to swim in today? Currently, the only way to find out is for someone to take a water sample, bring it back to a lab, then report the analysis 24 to 48 hours later. Soon, however, water-sampling buoys anchored off of beaches could provide readings in real time.Read More

Environment

Planes, ships and ground stations working together to study pollution

Next week, an international effort between NASA and the Republic of Korea's National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) will see the two bodies working together on an ambitious, six-week set of observations designed to improve our understanding of air pollution. The project will include the use of three planes housing 37 different instruments, and more than 300 ground sites, working together to gather data that help in the development of new solution to combat poor air quality across the globe.Read More

Environment

Backpack-wearing pigeons tweet London air quality readings

Wondering what the air quality is like in London? Well, over the next three days, you can ask a pigeon. More specifically, you can tweet your location to 10 pigeons located throughout the city, each one of which is equipped with a lightweight backpack that monitors ozone, nitrogen dioxide and volatile compounds. You'll receive a tweet back, letting you know just how safe it is to breathe the air in your region.Read More

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