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Recycling

A recent study has exposed a source of BPA exposure that many people might not expect - th...

Remember not so long ago, when everyone was getting rid of their plastic water bottles and replacing them with metal ones? That's because they contained bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastic. Several recent studies had linked BPA to a number of health problems, including breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and behavioral difficulties. The chemical was also found to be present in baby bottles and tin can linings, but a more recent study has exposed a source of BPA exposure that many people might not expect - thermal cash register receipts.  Read More

A rendering of DARPA's proposed tender satellite, in the process of removing the antenna f...

Satellites are very expensive to put into orbit. This is because the parts that they're built from are costly to make, but also because it requires so much energy to lift their considerable weight off the Earth's surface. It would then follow that satellites would cost less if they could use salvaged parts, and if they were lighter when lifting off from the launch pad. That's where DARPA's proposed Phoenix program comes into play. It would see a purpose-built spacecraft removing usable parts from the plethora of "dead" satellites currently in orbit, then leaving those parts for attachment to newly-arriving satellites.  Read More

AshPoopie dog poop disposal system

Most dog-walkers accept the necessity of cleaning up after their charges, but no one is claiming that it's a pleasurable experience. While we've seen eco-friendly dog waste disposal bags and systems that turn poop into plant fertilizer, we've yet to come across an approach that takes care of both collection and disposal quite like AshPoopie. Still a concept at this stage, the AshPoopie from Israel-based Paulee CleanTech is a kind of portable refuse incinerator crossed with ordinary one-handed pet waste scoop that's designed to turn feces into 100% sterile ash on the spot.  Read More

Dr. Nichola Coleman and Cameron Abercrombie, a final year Chemistry student from the Unive...

While you may feel quite virtuous when you leave all your glass containers out for recycling, you might be surprised to know that much of your colored glass won’t be used. That’s because even though there’s a fairly constant demand for recycled clear glass, glass in colors such as green, brown and blue isn’t all that sought-after, so many recycling centers don’t bother processing it. As a result, waste colored glass is now being stock-piled in some locations, waiting for a use. Thanks to research conducted at the University of Greenwich, however, that glass may soon be used for filtering pollutants out of ground water.  Read More

Tulane associate professor David Mullin (right), postdoctoral fellow Harshad Velankar (cen...

Hopefully, your old newspapers don’t just end up in the landfill. In the future, however, they might not even be used to make more paper – instead they may be the feedstock for a biofuel-producing strain of bacteria. Named “TU-103,” the microorganism was recently discovered by a team of scientists at New Orleans’ Tulane University. It converts cellulose – such as that found in newspapers – into butanol, which can be substituted for gasoline.  Read More

A new technology is able to convert paper mill waste into bio-foam (Photo: P199)

In a world increasingly concerned with waste, the smart manufacturers are identifying ways of utilizing the by-products of manufacturing and creating two products from one process. One example – a graduate student in agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a way of creating foam from the waste from paper mills, radically reducing waste from paper production and creating two products that are highly valuable and in demand.  Read More

Filling of Forward Osmosis Bag outer partition with 'dirty' solution from the Input Storag...

Atlantis may have taken off on the last ever space shuttle mission last week but that doesn’t mean it has finished racking up firsts. Along with ferrying its last batch of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), Atlantis is also carrying a urine recycling system that is designed to convert astronaut’s urine into a sports drink. The Forward Osmosis Bag (FOB) system will reportedly be tested by one of the four-man crew towards the end of the shuttle’s 12-day mission.  Read More

The Plastic2Oil plant in Niagara Falls, New York, converts non-recyclable plastic into fue...

While a lot of people may be doing their part for the environment by sending their discarded plastic items off for recycling, the fact is that much of the plastic currently in use is non-recyclable. In a not particularly eco-friendly process, some of this plastic is burned to generate electricity, while much of it simply ends up in landfills. Canadian company JBI, however, has developed a process that uses those plastics as a feedstock, and turns them into fuel.  Read More

It took three years of searching electronic junkyards to gather all discarded parts for Ma...

We tend to quickly forget about technology that's no longer shiny and state-of-the-art, which is part of the reason that piles of discarded electronics are becoming larger and larger. Polish sculptor Marek Tomasik, however, thought of a way of bringing them back to life ... sort of. He created an enormous and disturbing rectangular, walk-in sculpture made of several thousand discarded computer parts. The piece, entitled "Sometimes You Have To Be Open," is in the form of a room measuring 5m x 4m x 4.5m (16' x 14' x 15'), based around a wooden structure.  Read More

Scientists have devised a chemical method for recycling composite parts from discarded rec...

We've all heard about old metal car bodies being melted down for recycling, but what happens to the composite hulls and superstructures of past-their-prime recreational boats? Well, not much. Generally, they just end being sunk, burned, or put in a scrapyard. Sometimes, the composites are ground up and added as filler to virgin material. An alternative may be on the way, however, as researchers have discovered a new method for separating the composite components for future reuse.  Read More

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