Environment

Video: Upgrade your barbecue with ‘squeezable’ glass bottles

By Lisa McDonald / June 29, 2022

Though glass bottles have numerous advantages over plastic bottles, they lack the squeezability factor to easily eject their contents. Two entrepreneurs in the U.K. designed a silicon rubber attachment for glass bottles that gives them the squeezability factor.

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Clay locomotion and clean water

By Jonathon Foreman / June 17, 2022

Many of the world’s easily accessible freshwater sources are being drained faster than they are being replenished. In two recent papers, researchers led by Jilin University investigated the potential of a clay-based self-propelling nanomotor to purify water.

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Video: World Environment Day celebrates 50 years—how ceramic and glass materials help us live sustainably

By Lisa McDonald / June 1, 2022

In honor of World Environment Day on June 5, we look at a few of the many important contributions by ceramic and glass scientists that move us toward a more sustainable and harmonious relationship with nature.

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Titania photocatalysts: Saving the environment…or not?

By Lisa McDonald / May 31, 2022

Titanium dioxide is widely used as a photocatalyst due to its high catalytic activity, excellent chemical stability, low material cost, and minimal toxicity to humans. However, some researchers raised concerns that using TiO2 photocatalytic paints as a remediation technology to improve air quality may do more harm than good.

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Waste not, want not: Reusing glass in concrete for 3D-printed buildings

By Lisa McDonald / May 20, 2022

With sand in increasingly short supply, researchers are exploring alternative materials that can be used in the creation of concrete. Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore investigated the possibility of replacing sand and gravel with glass waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.

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New recycling method and resin advance sustainability of wind turbine blades

By Lisa McDonald / April 15, 2022

Improving recyclability of wind turbine blades is essential to enhancing sustainability of the wind industry. University and industrial researchers announced two new developments in this regard last month.

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Video: From interstate eyesore to inlet ecosystem—recycled concrete used to rehabilitate oyster populations

By Lisa McDonald / March 30, 2022

In contrast to corals, the crucial role that oysters play in global ocean health is often overlooked by the general public. Fortunately, governments, conservation groups, researchers, and oyster growers have started seriously investing in oyster restoration projects along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. One project by Virginia-based Lynnhaven River NOW not only helps oysters but puts recycled concrete to good use.

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A shocking development—electrodynamic fragmentation could provide high-quality recycled materials for the refractory industry

By Lisa McDonald / March 18, 2022

Recycling and reusing waste materials is one approach the refractories industry is pursuing to improve sustainability. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have explored the potential of electrodynamic fragmentation to recycle composites, and their recent study looks specifically at the potential of this technique applied to refractory materials.

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A clean way to clean green technology—novel method removes dust from solar panels using electrostatic induction

By Lisa McDonald / March 15, 2022

Cleaning solar panels currently is estimated to use about 10 billion gallons of water per year—enough to supply drinking water for up to 2 million people. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed a waterless approach for dust removal from solar panels using electrostatic induction.

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Composite showdown—technological developments could lower carbon fiber composites’ environmental impact

By Lisa McDonald / March 4, 2022

Currently, replacing conventional materials with carbon fiber-reinforced polymers typically increases life cycle energy use due to the energy-intensive fiber production process. A new prospective life cycle assessment suggests certain technological developments could lead to carbon fiber composites with lower environmental impact than glass fiber composites.

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