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Lack of nanotech regulations leaves developing world exposed
October 25, 2013 01:18 PM - Lou Del Bello, SciDevNet
Nanotechnology is a promising field, but a lack of regulation means there is uncertainty over the safety of its implementation, particularly in developing countries. This week I received some unexpected insights on nanotechnology and its relationship with industry in different parts of the world.
Breakthrough in CO2 conversion to useful forms of carbon
October 25, 2013 07:22 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
CO2 is an important air pollution emission contributing to climate change. Researchers around the globe are looking at ways to remove CO2 from flue gasses and to store it (sequestering) or to in someway use it. By tuning gold nanoparticles to just the right size, researchers from Brown University have developed a catalyst that selectively converts carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO), an active carbon molecule that can be used to make alternative fuels and commodity chemicals. "Our study shows potential of carefully designed gold nanoparticles to recycle CO2 into useful forms of carbon," said Shouheng Sun, professor of chemistry and one of the study’s senior authors. "The work we've done here is preliminary, but we think there's great potential for this technology to be scaled up for commercial applications."
Introduction to Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic (PBT) Compounds in the Environment
October 24, 2013 05:03 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Global chemical contamination is a worldwide concern affecting every being on earth. Chemical exposure, whether it is through air, water, plants, soil or our modern living environment is unavoidable. But certain chemicals and compounds having Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic (PBT) characteristics are more dangerous to our environment than others because of their inability to break down easily, are easily transferred throughout all forms of environmental media, and posing risks to human health and the ecosystem due to their toxicity at low concentrations.
Dead battery troubles will soon be a thing of the past
October 24, 2013 04:26 PM - Debra Goldberg, ENN
With technology almost always at our fingertips, it’s hard to avoid constantly being on our smart phone, camera, or tablet. It distracts us from our boredom, connects us quickly to friends, helps navigate us to local restaurants, and points out the nearest gas stations when we’re running low on fuel.
Wind power could generate 18% of global power by 2050
October 24, 2013 08:45 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Wind power could generate up to 18% of the world's electricity by 2050, compared with 2.6% today, according to new IEA research. The Technology Roadmap: Wind Energy — 2013 Edition finds that nearly 300 gigawatts of current wind power worldwide must increase eight- to ten-fold to achieve the roadmap's vision, with the more than USD 78 billion in investment in 2012 progressively reaching USD 150 billion per year.
Air Pollution and Cancer Spikes linked in Alberta
October 23, 2013 11:48 AM - Editor, ENN
Alberta is Canada's industry epicenter and home to more than 40 companies that produce industrial emissions. Recent studies conducted by the University of California and the University of Michigan have indicated higher levels of contaminants which can potentially be linked to spikes in the incidences of cancer in the region.
Green Building is Now the Law in Dallas
October 23, 2013 09:45 AM - Stuart Kaplow, courtesy Green Building Law Update via, Clean Techies
Dallas has now accepted the first building permit applications under its green building ordinance. Dallas is one of the first major cities in the nation to implement comprehensive mandatory green building standards for both all new residential and commercial construction. By Resolution 08-1070 adopted unanimously on April 9, 2008 Phase 1 of the law was effective in 2009 and Phase 2 (originally to be effective October 1, 2011) was fully implemented October 1, 2013.
Great Progress in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Remediation Efforts
October 23, 2013 08:27 AM - Editor, ENN
United Nation experts are encouraging the Japanese government to better communicate contamination goals with the public but are otherwise very positive about the progress that has been made in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident remediation efforts in Japan. The experts are from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a U.N. task force who oversees and reviews remediation efforts. They have been conducting ongoing reviews of the situation since the 2011 earthquake.
Liquid air technology could boost the role of renewable energy
October 22, 2013 09:37 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Liquid air technologies could help Britain tackle some of its toughest energy challenges, says a new report launched at Parliament today. The report, "Liquid Air Technologies — a guide to the potential," shows how liquid air could help balance an electricity grid increasingly dominated by intermittent renewables; provide strategic energy storage to keep the lights on; sharply reduce CO2 and tail-pipe emissions from vehicles; and convert low grade waste heat into usable energy throughout the economy.
Red Smog alert chokes northern China
October 21, 2013 12:23 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
A red alert has been issued for several cities in northern China including Changchun and Harbin. A red alert is the highest level on the four-tiered alert system and is defined as serious air pollution for three consecutive days. According to Xinhuanet News, "the density of PM 2.5 -- airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, exceeded 500 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday morning." Visibility is presently less than 50 meters in the downtown capital city of Harbin of Heilongjiang Province.