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Waste

— Wearables

Urine-powered socks get transmissions flowing

Peeing in one's socks may not be everyone's first choice for powering their mobile devices, but apparently it could be an option. A team of researchers from the Bristol BioEnergy Centre at the University of the West of England is experimenting with a pair of socks that use urine to generate electricity via miniaturized microbial fuel cells. Results have already started to trickle in, with the system used to run a transmitter to send wireless signals to a desktop computer.

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— Around The Home

Backyard biogas converter turns household food scraps into cooking gas

An Israeli startup is planning to help families everywhere turn their food scraps into cooking gas. HomeBioGas Ltd has just launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring a compact biogas converter to urban and rural areas in developed countries, and to underserved communities in developing countries. According to the company, the HomeBiogas system can turn kitchen leftovers and livestock manure into natural liquid fertilizer and clean gas for cooking, lighting and water heating.

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— Science

Slaughterhouse waste could be made into yarn

Ever since the late 19th century, people have experimented with making textiles from natural-source-based gelatine, as a cheaper and less allergenic alternative to wool. Although the emergence of synthetic fibers largely put an end to that, a new technique may yet allow gel-based yarn to see the spotlight. The fiber is said to have an insulation quality similar to that of Merino wool, and the collagen used to produce it can be obtained from waste at animal-processing facilities.

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— Environment

Researchers produce hydrogen quickly and cheaply using plant waste

Hydrogen is the ideal gas for use in low-emissions combustion engine or fuel cell-powered vehicles, due to its almost non-existent greenhouse gas emissions. Production costs, however, are higher compared to gasoline and around 95 percent of it is currently produced, somewhat counter-intuitively, from fossil fuels. Now researchers at Virginia Tech claim to have created a method to produce hydrogen fuel using a biological technique that is not only cheaper and faster, but also produces hydrogen of a much higher quality ... and all from the leftover stalks, cobs, and husks of corn. Read More
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