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Waste

Dead seaweed on a beach in the Spanish city of Alicante

When it’s alive and in the ocean, seaweed serves as a habitat, spawning ground and food source for marine life. Once it gets washed ashore, however, it pretty much just rots. Typically, along beaches in tourist areas, that dead seaweed is simply gathered and taken to a landfill. Now, however, researchers from Spain’s University of Alicante have conceived of a new seaweed-removal system that has less environmental impact, and that allows the seaweed to be used as an energy source.  Read More

Sunflower seed husks seem to be a viable aggregate for certain uses (Photo: Phil Hawkswort...

Ordinarily seen as a waste product, the husks of sunflower seeds could be used to make concrete, according to research out of Turkey. Not only are the husks a sustainable source of aggregate, it's claimed that the resulting concrete is more resistant to cracking during post-freeze thaws.  Read More

A petri dish of the sulfur-based polymer next to a (very small) stockpile of sulfur powder...

Whether sulfur is a by-product or a waste product of oil refinement and coal combustion depends on how you slice it. Certainly, some of that sulfur can be put to use producing sulfuric acid, fertilizer and other chemicals, but much of it is accumulating into stockpiles that are expensive to maintain (due to the need to neutralize acidic run-off). Researchers at the University of Arizona think more of that sulfur could be put to use thanks to a new chemical process that uses sulfur to make plastics that may one day be used to make a new generation of lighter, more efficient lithium-sulfur batteries.  Read More

Some of Fraunhofer's printed thermoelectric generators, wrapped around a sample component

Thermoelectric materials, putting it simply, are able to generate electricity via differences in temperature. If thermoelectric felt were used to make a jacket, for instance, it could generate a current using the temperature gradient between the warm interior and cold exterior of the garment. Like many such promising technologies, however, the cost of thermoelectrics is something of an issue ... although thanks to a new process developed at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology, that might not be the case for much longer.  Read More

A length of the paper-based bricks being extruded

Paper waste has already been used to create things like foam and batteries – now, a team of researchers from Spain’s University of Jaen are making bricks out of the stuff. Although the finished products still need a little tweaking before they're ready for prime time, they could ultimately give traditional bricks a run for their money.  Read More

Rice University graduate student Oara Neumann (left) and scientist Naomi Halas are co-auth...

A team of researchers at Rice University has developed a new technology that uses light-absorbing nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam. Even though it is already significantly more efficient than solar panels at producing electricity, the technology will likely find its first applications in low-cost sanitation, water purification and human waste treatment for the developing world.  Read More

The Zero Waste Twist Dispenser is a prototype container designed to let consumers use ever...

Does it bother you that you can’t get all of the liquid out of the bottom of a hand-pump-equipped container? Well, the folks at Pack Flow Concepts think that it should. According to them, such containers don’t dispense up to 15 percent of the ketchup, shampoo, soap or other liquid stored inside of them. That’s why Pack Flow is developing the Zero Waste Twist Dispenser.  Read More

USU biochemist Michael R. Morgan posing beside the Aggie A-Salt Streamliner he piloted at ...

A cheese-powered dragster designed by researchers at Utah State University (USU) set a new speed record for a vehicle of its type, reaching a shade over 65 mph (104 km/h) at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association's 2012 World of Speed event in September. No prize Stilton was wasted in the pursuit of glory however, as the vehicle runs on yeast biodiesel derived from the industrial waste of cheese production.  Read More

Bog in a Bag is a portable way to 'use the bathroom' anywhere

Have you ever tried to poop in a small plastic bag? Outside of a childhood dare or college prank, the answer is probably an emphatic NO. In certain backcountry and river camping scenarios, however, that's exactly what you're expected to do. The Bog in a Bag gives you a better way of doing that dirty work.  Read More

The Bokashicycle Food Waste Pulverizer is designed to consolidate commercial food waste, a...

Businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores and farms are known for generating a lot of food waste. Not only can that waste take up space and attract vermin in landfills, but it can also be costly for those businesses to dispose of. That’s why Nevada-based Bokashicycle introduced a new product this week, the Bokashicycle Food Waste Pulverizer. The machine “shreds, rips, bruises and pulverizes” food waste, allowing more of it to fit within a receptacle, and preparing it for easy composting.  Read More

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