Green Building

UBC researcher sees future for flax and hemp as particleboard alternative
April 18, 2017 08:32 AM - University of British Columbia

Wood scientist Solace Sam-Brew envisions a future where Canadian homes are furnished with products made from flax and hemp.

“Both flax and hemp are widely available in Canada, especially in the West,” said Sam-Brew, a recent PhD graduate from the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry. “It’s worth considering their viability as alternative raw materials to wood for particleboard production.”

UBC researcher sees future for flax and hemp as particleboard alternative
April 18, 2017 08:32 AM - University of British Columbia

Wood scientist Solace Sam-Brew envisions a future where Canadian homes are furnished with products made from flax and hemp.

“Both flax and hemp are widely available in Canada, especially in the West,” said Sam-Brew, a recent PhD graduate from the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry. “It’s worth considering their viability as alternative raw materials to wood for particleboard production.”

Big data helps autism research: U of T team identifies 18 new genes increasing risk
April 17, 2017 08:45 AM - University of Toronto

Scientists in the world’s largest autism genomics project recently identified 18 new genes that increase risk for the condition.

Some of the genes seen in participants also carry risk for heart disease, diabetes and other conditions, opening the potential for more personalized genetic counselling.

Cities of the Future Will Depend on Resiliency to Meet Urbanization Demands
April 5, 2017 10:19 AM - Scott Tew, Triple Pundit

Urbanization and the notion of smart cities have been emerging topics for some time now. This is no surprise, given that urban residents accounted for 54 percent of the total global population in 2015, and are expected to grow to 60 percent by 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

U of T research could help sponge up oil sands wastewater
March 1, 2017 09:15 AM - University of Toronto

In theory, oil and water don’t mix. In reality, the two liquids can be almost impossible to separate, especially from complex chemical cocktails such as the wastewater produced by Alberta’s oil sands mining operations.

New Scientific Approach Assesses Land Recovery Following Oil and Gas Drilling
February 7, 2017 03:28 PM - USGS

When developing oil and gas well pads, the vegetation and soil are removed to level the areas for drilling and operations. The new assessment approach, called the disturbance automated reference toolset, or DART, is used to examine recovery patterns after well pads are plugged and abandoned to help resource managers make informed decisions for future well pad development.

Concrete jungle functions as carbon sink
November 22, 2016 07:03 AM - UCI News

Cement manufacturing is among the most carbon-intensive industrial processes, but an international team of researchers has found that over time, the widely used building material reabsorbs much of the CO2 emitted when it was made.

Airlines to Test Alternative Fuel
October 12, 2016 06:35 AM - Anum Yoon, Triple Pundit

As the world turns its attention to addressing global warming, the airline industry, too, is researching ways to do its part and lower greenhouse gas emissions. One option is investing more into the development and integration of alternative fuels. Biofuels made from vegetable oil, corn and even household garbage are all very real possibilities.

Recycling on the ropes, France has a plan to fix the industry
January 11, 2016 05:29 AM - EurActiv

Low raw material costs have dealt a heavy blow to the recycling industry. The French recycling federation (FEDEREC) believes the sector needs a complete overhaul to stay afloat in the coming years.

FEDEREC published its view of the future of recycling in a white paper entitled "The recycling industry by 2030." In the preface to this 70-page document, a frank discussion of the problems facing the industry and how they might be solved, Corinne Lepage, a Republican politician, evoked a sector "devastated by an oil price that is so low that it is driving us back towards a linear economy, as it is cheaper today to buy primary raw materials than recycled raw materials".

Solar gaining on coal in India
January 4, 2016 06:15 AM - Chris Goodall, Ecologist

A KPMG study shows that the cost of solar power in India, revealed by public auctions, is barely half a cent above that of cheap local coal , writes Chris Goodall, with generators bids falling well below 5p (UK) / 7¢ (US) per kWh. The idea put about at COP21 that India and other poor but sunny countries need coal to develop their economies is fast running out of steam.

When the accountants have fully loaded the network and other costs PV ends up as very slightly cheaper than using lndian-mined coal. And, of course, this advantage will grow as solar gets cheaper.

Commentators eager to arrest the move towards renewable energy are facing increasing difficulties finding arguments for the continued use of fossil fuel.

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