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Environment

Video: Uncovering the dark side of e-waste recycling

By Lisa McDonald / December 11, 2019

The Basel Action Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pollution dumping in developing countries. Learn what it is doing to prevent recyclers from exporting electronics overseas and find out how its e-waste sting operation in 2015 revealed a shocking betrayal.

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Cleaning the planet: A review on MXenes for water treatment and environmental remediation applications

By Lisa McDonald / December 10, 2019

Characteristic MXene properties have led to growing research interest for MXenes in environmental remediation and water treatment applications. A recent review by Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Drexel University researchers discusses current studies on MXenes and suggests ideas for future experiments.

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Sugar is not just for food: Using sucrose as binder for MgO-C refractories

By Lisa McDonald / December 6, 2019

Phenolic resin, a commonly used binder for MgO-C refractories, releases pollutant gases during the heat treatment process. Researchers from two Chinese universities explored whether sucrose could be an environmentally friendly alternative.

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Slip and slide—spray-on polymer coating keeps porcelain toilet bowls cleaner

By April Gocha / December 6, 2019

A team of researchers developed a super slippery spray-on toilet bowl coating that prevents waste from sticking to the toilet bowl’s surfaces, allowing toilets to use less water to flush clean.

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Optical fibers for earthquake monitoring head undersea

By Lisa McDonald / December 3, 2019

It is challenging to effectively monitor seismic quakes deep in the ocean. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers and colleagues, who previously used optical fibers to monitor earthquakes on land, tested using optical fibers to monitor earthquakes undersea.

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Save “cold,” hard cash—cold sintering offers financial, environmental benefits to ceramic manufacturing

By Lisa McDonald / November 8, 2019

Decarbonizing manufacturing processes is a focus of the ceramic industry. In a recent paper, researchers performed a techno-economic analysis to show how the cold sintering process, a recently developed manufacturing technique, could help reach this goal.

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Protecting equipment in steel production: Thermal barrier coatings created from steel waste stream

By Jonathon Foreman / October 25, 2019

Thermal barrier coatings protect equipment against high temperatures in steel production. Researchers from Bartin University in Turkey found ferrochromium slag, a waste product from stainless steel production, could be used to create such coatings.

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Video: The right to repair in a Fair(phone) manner

By Lisa McDonald / September 4, 2019

The Right to Repair movement calls for manufacturers to give consumers the ability to repair their own devices. Fairphone, a social enterprise company, designs and produces smartphones that are easily repairable and have minimal environmental impact.

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Video: Another way to mine—rare-earth elements extracted from scrapped magnets

By Lisa McDonald / August 28, 2019

Extracting rare earth elements from e-waste can be difficult. The Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute and other labs are collaborating to develop new recycling methods—and one method is set for commercial production of rare-earth oxides.

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Cheers to sustainability—lifecycle analysis pits glass bottles against aluminum cans

By April Gocha / August 23, 2019

From an environmental sustainability standpoint, which is better: glass bottles or aluminum cans? Turns out, the answer is not so clear-cut.

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