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Pollution

— Environment

Simpler, cheaper way to make liquid methanol fuel using CO2 and sunlight

Most previous methods of producing methanol from carbon dioxide have involved lots of electricity, high pressures and high temperatures, and used toxic chemicals or rare earth elements like cadmium or tellurium. A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) has developed a new method they claim is safer, less expensive, and simpler than current approaches and can be scaled up to an industrial scale to allow some of the CO2 emitted from electrical power plants to be captured and converted into a useful fuel. Read More
— Urban Transport Feature

Lighter Yikebike EV models join growing Transport Appliance marketplace

With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000). Read More
— Environment

Wastewater treatment process may keep fish off antidepressants

By - February 27, 2013 2 Pictures
While some people may wonder about the possible side-effects of antidepressants on the people who are taking them, here’s another thing to consider ... what happens when the residue from those drugs passes through the user’s urine and into the sewage system? As it turns out, it can enter local waterways and affect the fish. Now, researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed technology to keep that from happening. Read More
— Environment

Carbon-capture material releases trapped CO2 when exposed to sunlight

By - February 13, 2013 1 Picture
Amidst concerns over the accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases, many research institutes have been looking into methods of carbon sequestration – the capture, storage and even possible reuse of carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately, some of the approaches require a considerable input of power, in order to release the captured CO2. A new material developed at Australia’s Monash University, however, requires nothing but sunlight. Read More
— Environment

Graphene oxide causes radioactive material to "clump" out of water

By - January 12, 2013 2 Pictures
Removing radioactive material from contaminated water, such as that in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plants, could be getting a little easier. Scientists from Houston’s Rice University and Lomonosov Moscow State University have discovered that when flakes of graphene oxide are added to such water, it causes the radionuclides to condense into clumps. Those clumps can then be separated and disposed of. Read More
— Architecture

Olive oil may save York Minster cathedral

By - January 11, 2013 6 Pictures
York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and one of the great monuments of medieval architecture. Built in the city of York, UK between 1220 and 1472, it has suffered looting, vandalism, arson and a devastating fire after a lightning strike in 1984. Despite decades of restoration costing millions of pounds, the Minster still faces an implacable enemy, the air itself. In hopes of protecting the Minster from rotting away due to air pollution, Dr. Karen Wilson and Prof. Adam Lee of the Cardiff School of Chemistry, Cardiff University along with researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that the key to saving the church may lie in olive oil. Read More
— Environment

Portable sensor lets users monitor air pollution on their smartphone

By - December 19, 2012 3 Pictures
Air quality is one of those things that many of us should be more concerned about, but aren’t. According to some people, this is because we’re not easily able to know how clean the air around us really is – we just assume it’s “clean enough.” Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego have set out to change that. They’re developing a compact, portable air pollution sensor that communicates with the user’s smartphone, to provide real-time air quality readings for their immediate surroundings. Read More
— Architecture

Air Purifying Art: Edmonton International Airports Living Wall

By - December 10, 2012 13 Pictures
Edmonton International Airports Living Wall has been greeting passengers now since May of this year and continues the success of Vancouver based design company Green over Grey in the trend of living vertical installations. The 1,420 square feet (132 sq m) vertical canvas consists of over 8000 plants and includes several species identified by NASA as being more efficient than mechanical filters at purifying the air of toxins. Read More
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