Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Recycling

Scientists have had success at capturing rare earth elements diluted in industrial wastewa...

Rare earth elements are an integral part of many of today's electronic devices, serving as magnets, catalysts and superconductors. Unfortunately, these minerals are also ... well, rare, and thus very pricey. Recently, however, scientists discovered that some of them can be reclaimed from industrial wastewater, instead of being mined from the earth.  Read More

The raw materials and end products of the recycling process

Of all the things that we regularly dispose of, you would think that shoes would be one of the most difficult to recycle. Not only are well-used shoes kind of ... gross, but they're also made of a variety of different materials, all of which are joined together. Nonetheless, scientists at Loughborough University in the UK announced last week that they have created and trialled "the world’s first comprehensive system for separating and recovering useful materials from old footwear."  Read More

Plastic bags like these may one day be a common source of carbon nanotubes

Discarded plastic bags are if nothing else, certainly one of the most visible forms of litter out there. While it's possible to recycle some of them into other plastic products, scientists at Australia's University of Adelaide have found another use for them – they can be used in the production of high-value carbon nanotubes.  Read More

An unlikely tool for sewage treatment (Photo: Stuart Pilbrow)

A team of Taiwanese researchers is to demonstrate a method of treating sewage using old optical disks such as CDs. The disks are used as a platform to grow minuscule nanorods of zinc oxide, a known photocatalyst capable of breaking down organic matter. By spinning the disks, sewage water spreads into a thin layer through which light can pass, exciting the nanorods into action.  Read More

Artist's concept of ERO the demolition robot in action

When it comes to demolishing buildings, there are almost as many ways to take them apart as put them up. We knock them down, blow them to bits, and build machines to take them apart. But what about a robot that eats buildings? Omer Haciomeroglu of Sweden’s Umeå Institute of Design has come up with the concept ERO concrete de-construction robot, which uses high-pressure water jets to strip concrete from rebar and recycle it on the spot.  Read More

Italian designer Andrea Scandella has created an open source series of DIY furniture piece...

Italian designer, Andrea Scandella has created an open source series of DIY furniture pieces made from disused pallets. With a passion for designing furniture that incorporates eco-sustainability and the use of recycled materials, Scandella is offering his deigns free to the public.  Read More

Studio Nuy van Noort has designed a foldable chair made from 100 percent recycled and recy...

Inspired by the challenge to create sustainable and economical furniture pieces which possess a multitude of uses, Dutch Studio Nuy van Noort has designed a foldable chair made from 100 percent recycled and recyclable materials.  Read More

The Pass IT On For Good USB card erases an old computer's hard drive, and installs new edu...

What should you do with your old computer? Chances are that no one will want to buy it, but you don’t want to just throw it away – especially with e-waste being such a huge environmental concern. Recycling or donating are possibilities, but how do you know that all of your personal information is really deleted from its hard drive? Well, that’s where the Pass IT On For Good project comes in. It supplies you with a USB card that deletes all the personal content on your computer, installs educational software, and then instructs you on how to donate it for use in schools in developing nations.  Read More

Skate Guitars are repurposed from old skateboard decks

Though looking street-worn, beaten and abused can actually be a rather favorable look for a skateboard deck, there comes a time when stylish scuff gives way to unsightly eyesore and it's time to break in a new board. Rather than simply throw away all that quality wood, offbeat Argentinian luthier Ezequiel Galasso and pro skateboarder Gianfranco de Gennaro Gilmour have teamed up to repurpose old boards into "born to shred" guitars.  Read More

Melbourne RMIT Bachelor of Design graduate, Michelle McDonell has come up with an innovati...

Michelle McDonell, a Bachelor of Design graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne, Australia, has come up with an innovative way to recycle old clothing into DIY furniture pieces. Dubbed The Fabricate Project, the concept, which aims to save no longer usable garments from ending up in landfills, won her first prize of the RMIT Green Inventors Competition.  Read More

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