Environment

Video: Decommissioned wind turbine blades get a second wind through reuse and recycling

By Lisa McDonald / January 20, 2021

The vast majority of wind turbine blades that reach end-of-use are either being stored in various places or taken to landfills because there are few options for recycling. Numerous companies and universities are working to change that.

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Locked in rock: Carbon capture strategy looks to olivine to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

By April Gocha / December 22, 2020

As we face dangerously rising carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere, new strategies for carbon capture and storage that are not only effective but also scalable, affordable, and easy to implement are drastically needed. Could a simple green silicate mineral called olivine provide the solution?

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Video: Clay tiles help restore coral reefs

By Lisa McDonald / December 16, 2020

Coral reefs are experiencing massive die-offs because of bleaching, ocean acidification, and pollution, among other factors. Coral restoration is a top priority for marine researchers, and a team of marine scientists and architects at the University of Hong Kong is exploring using 3D printing to fabricate structurally complex clay tiles for coral to grow on.

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Repurpose waste concrete through additive manufacturing

By Lisa McDonald / December 1, 2020

To date, recycling of building rubble into new construction products is limited because the material does not meet strict building regulations. A new £6 million project led by Manchester Metropolitan University and partners across Europe aims to overcome this limitation using additive manufacturing because products produced this way are not subject to the same building restrictions.

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Reduce reliance on air conditioning: New reflective paint achieves full daytime sub-ambient radiative cooling

By Lisa McDonald / October 27, 2020

Radiative cooling paint offers a way to regulate temperature inside a building and reduce reliance on air conditioning. Researchers at Purdue University developed a new radiative cooling paint based on calcium carbonate that reaches 95.5% reflectance in the solar spectrum, substantially higher than the solar reflectance values of commercial radiative cooling paints.

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Exploring effects of deep sea mining: Polymetallic nodule extraction may cause long-term reduction of carbon flow throughput

By Lisa McDonald / October 13, 2020

Deep sea mining is of great interest to mining companies, but scientists worry about the environmental impacts. A new study finds extraction of polymetallic nodules will likely reduce ecosystem functioning on at least decadal time scales.

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Video: Plastic sand bricks offer affordable and sustainable housing in Kenya

By Lisa McDonald / October 7, 2020

Recycling plastic into bricks is an emerging industry in some developing countries that are looking to clean the environment while addressing affordable housing concerns. Gjenge Makers Ltd. in Kenya is one example of a company pursuing this production platform.

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Video: Battery-free computing restores retro gaming device

By Lisa McDonald / September 16, 2020

When restoring old technology, sometimes substituting modern alternatives for original parts can improve the classic design. Researchers at Northwestern University and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands created a clone of the 8-bit Nintendo Game Boy using an energy-aware gaming platform.

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Video: Brew coffee sustainably using ceramic and glass filters

By Lisa McDonald / September 2, 2020

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, yet the environmental impacts of the drink can be significant. Metal and cloth are the main alternatives to paper for creating reusable filters—could ceramic and glass materials play a role in sustainability as well?

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An ‘udder’ way to make money: Sorbent-based purification may make biogas production economically feasible for farmers

By Lisa McDonald / August 21, 2020

Farmers are in the midst of an economic crisis. Production of methane fuel from biogas, a natural byproduct of organic wastes, may be a way to turn a profit, but the current processing methods are too expensive for small farmers. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory developed a composite sorbent that may make the production process economically feasible.

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