Business

Why US Battery Startups Fail -- And How to Fix It
September 6, 2017 09:08 AM - Cambridge University Press

Better batteries are critical to the world’s clean energy future. More economical and efficient batteries would help to solve many of our planet’s energy challenges, paving the way towards long-range electric vehicles to help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels as well as advancing renewable energy production by resolving intermittency problems. However, the scientific research needed to bring the necessary advances in materials to market in the US remains a formidable challenge. Hurdles include high upfront capital costs and long timelines to success – leading many startup companies to fail, even with generous funding from venture capital and esteemed investors such as Bill Gates.

Houston's Trucking Lifeline Rumbles Back in Harvey's Aftermath
August 31, 2017 03:03 PM - Alex Davies for Wired

As Houstonians watch the waters recede, they are looking ahead to the next phase of the disaster: recovery. The unusually prolonged assault by Hurricane Harvey flooded nearly a third of Harris County, killed at least 38 people, and left thousands more homeless. The storm also effectively throttled commerce coming into and leaving Houston, the county seat. Both of its major airports closed, its rail yards and nearby ports were majorly disrupted, and the city's extensive highway system was largely underwater.

Potato waste processing may be the road to enhanced food waste conversion
August 17, 2017 04:06 PM - Penn State

With more than two dozen companies in Pennsylvania manufacturing potato chips, it is no wonder that researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a novel approach to more efficiently convert potato waste into ethanol. This process may lead to reduced production costs for biofuel in the future and add extra value for chip makers.

Distributed wind power keeps spinning, growing
August 8, 2017 03:38 PM - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Both businesses and homeowners are increasingly using distributed wind power thanks to innovative business models and other trends, according to a new report released today.

Kids, cash, and snacks: What motivates a healthier food choice?
August 1, 2017 10:11 AM - Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus

What determines how children decide to spend their cash on snacks? A new study shows that children’s experience with money and their liking of brands influenced purchase decisions – and that for some children, higher prices for unhealthy snacks might motivate healthier choices. The study is published in the journal Appetite.

Food banks respond to hunger needs in rural America
July 27, 2017 11:18 AM - University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

Many images of rural America are food-related—a freshly-baked apple pie cooling on the windowsill, a roadside produce stand brimming with sweet corn and tomatoes, or a Norman Rockwell print showing a family sitting down to dinner. But the reality is that many people in rural America face hunger and don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

Climate change to push Ethiopian coffee farming uphill
July 27, 2017 11:00 AM - , SciDevNet

Relocating coffee areas, along with forestation and forest conservation, to higher altitudes to cope with climate change could increase Ethiopia‘s coffee farming area fourfold, a study predicts.

Rush Hour Pollution May Be More Dangerous Than You Think
July 21, 2017 02:51 PM - Duke University

The first in-car measurements of exposure to pollutants that cause oxidative stress during rush hour commutes has turned up potentially alarming results. The levels of some forms of harmful particulate matter inside car cabins was found to be twice as high as previously believed.

Most traffic pollution sensors are placed on the ground alongside the road and take continuous samples for a 24-hour period. Exhaust composition, however, changes rapidly enough for drivers to experience different conditions inside their vehicles than these roadside sensors. Long-term sampling also misses nuanced variabilities caused by road congestion and environmental conditions.

Global warming could result in losses for the European wine industry
July 13, 2017 02:17 PM - Taylor & Francis Group

Slight increases in temperature in Mediterranean regions from global warming could potentially result in labour, productivity and economic losses for the European wine industry, an article in the journal Temperature suggests.

Climate change could mean more weight restrictions and higher costs for airlines
July 13, 2017 02:09 PM - Springer

As air temperatures rise at constant pressure, the density of air declines and this makes it harder for an airplane to take off. Increased air temperatures due to climate change could therefore present a new challenge for the aviation industry. This is according to Ethan Coffel of Columbia University in the US, lead author of a study in Climatic Change Letters which is a section in Springer’s journal Climatic Change

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