more top stories »


— Aircraft

NASA proposes Water Walls to replace mechanical life support systems

By - September 10, 2012 2 Pictures
When they’re living aboard spacecraft, astronauts presently rely on mechanically-driven life support systems. Not only is there a danger of these systems breaking down, but maintenance can be challenging, as they’re always in use. While redundant duplicate systems could take over in such situations, they add to the expense and weight of a spacecraft, and also take up valuable space. Instead, NASA is exploring another possibility – the passive “Water Walls” system, which would use the principle of forward osmosis to perform tasks such as water filtration, air filtration, and even food growth. Read More
— Science

Advance could turn wastewater treatment into viable electricity producer

By - August 14, 2012 1 Picture
In the latest green energy – or perhaps that should be brown energy – news, a team of engineers from Oregon State University (OSU) has developed new technology they claim significantly improves the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that can be used to produce electricity directly from wastewater. With the promise of producing 10 to 50 times the electricity, per volume, than comparable approaches, the researchers say the technology could see waste treatment plants not only powering themselves, but also feeding excess electricity back to the grid. Read More
— Environment

GE’s AquaSel cleans more water with less energy and money

By - July 18, 2012 1 Picture
Although water is the world’s most precious commodity, an astounding amount of it is wasted by industries. Fortunately, water treatment and recovery has become the focus of several technology companies, including GE, which recently demonstrated a water treatment technology that virtually eliminates losses at bottling plants and other water-related operations. The pilot study of GE’s AquaSel, a non-thermal brine concentrator technology, took place at the plant of a leading beverage company in Asia. GE says costs were greatly reduced and there was almost no liquid discharge. Read More
— Environment

Advanced Denim process makes blue jeans “greener”

By - June 19, 2012 1 Picture
Denim jeans have become a mainstay of wardrobes the world over, but with some estimates suggesting that over 2,500 gallons (9,463 l) of water, almost a pound of chemicals and significant amounts of energy are required to produce just one pair of jeans, their success has a significant impact on the environment. Now a new process developed by Swiss chemical company Clariant promises to turn blue (and other colored) jeans a shade of green. Read More
— Good Thinking

OECD calls for policy reform and technology to prevent impending water crisis

Worldwide population growth and the related rapid increase in urbanization is already posing problems in many areas for the management of that most precious of resources, water. With these problems only set to intensify, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has released a report outlining the challenges humanity faces to maintain water resources in the face of demographic growth and climate change. Called Meeting the Water Reform Challenge, the report says that urgent reform of water policies is crucial in order to preserve human and environmental health as well as economic growth. Read More
— Environment

HyperSolar harnesses sunlight to produce cleaner-than-clean hydrogen fuel

By - January 26, 2012 1 Picture
HyperSolar claims it is developing a zero carbon method of producing hydrogen gas from wastewater by harnessing solar energy. Hydrogen gas is a clean source of fuel in that, theoretically at least, the only waste product is water. But hydrogen gas does not occur naturally on Earth, and requires energy to create. Typically that energy comes from traditional, carbon dioxide-emitting sources, rendering hydrogen fuel rather less environmentally friendly than it has the potential to be. HyperSolar's work may mean truly clean, renewable hydrogen fuel could be a commercial reality sooner than we might have imagined. Read More
— Environment

Researchers turn wastewater into “inexhaustible” source of hydrogen

By - September 19, 2011 3 Pictures
Currently, the world economy and western society in general runs on fossil fuels. We've known for some time that this reliance on finite resources that are polluting the planet is unsustainable in the long term. This has led to the search for alternatives and hydrogen is one of the leading contenders. One of the problems is that hydrogen is an energy carrier, rather than an energy source. Pure hydrogen doesn't occur naturally and it takes energy - usually generated by fossil fuels - to manufacture it. Now researchers at Pennsylvania State University have developed a way to produce hydrogen that uses no grid electricity and is carbon neutral and could be used anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water. Read More
— Good Thinking

Ferrator uses iron for eco-friendly water treatment

By - February 9, 2011 1 Picture
Ferrate is a type of supercharged iron particle, in which iron is in the plus 6 oxidation state – it’s also known as Iron (VI). That might not interest you, but perhaps this will: it can be used as an environmentally-friendly disinfectant in water treatment applications, reportedly outperforming stand-bys such as ultraviolet light, hydrogen peroxide, and chlorine. So, why isn’t it in common use? Unfortunately, it’s proven too expensive to produce, package and transport. Ferrate Treatment Technologies (FTT), however, claims to have addressed that limitation with its product, the Ferrator. Read More
— Environment

Poo-Gloos treat sewage as quickly and effectively as mechanical plants, but cost less

By - January 12, 2011 6 Pictures
Poo isn't something generally talked about in polite company but like it or not, all of that human waste has to go somewhere. In smaller rural communities, it usually goes to wastewater lagoon systems; the alternative is mechanical treatment plants which process waste far more quickly but are expensive, labor intensive and often use chemicals. Enter the "Poo-Gloo," or Bio-Dome as it is officially known – an igloo-shaped device that can reportedly clean up sewage as effectively, but far more cheaply, than its mechanical counterparts. The Poo-Gloo, developed by Wastewater Compliance Systems, Inc., uses a combination of air, dark environment and large surface area to encourage the growth of a bacterial biofilm which consumes the wastewater pollutants. It is claimed that Poo-Gloos can treat pollutants just as quickly as mechanical plants while operating at a fraction of the cost – hundreds of dollars a month rather than thousands – and can be retrofitted to existing lagoon systems. Read More
— Science

Researchers use rocket science for sustainable waste treatment process

By - August 16, 2010 2 Pictures
Rocket engines are generally not thought of as being environmentally-friendly, but thanks to a newly-developed process, we may someday see them neutralizing the emissions from wastewater treatment plants. The same process would also see those plants generating their own power, thus meaning they would be both energy-neutral and emissions-free. Developed by two engineers at Stanford University, the system starts with the formation of nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane gas - something that treatment plants traditionally try to avoid. Read More

Subscribe to Gizmag's email newsletter