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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.
Ecology: Life's Connections
October 24, 2013 04:41 PM - Glen Barry, Ecologist
Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin layer of life just above and below Earth’s surface, composed of ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a marvel - a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life begets life. Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems - the vibrant connections that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life on Earth possible.
Carbonation on Mars May Provide Insight to Climate Change on Earth
October 24, 2013 11:46 AM - Editor, ENN
Carbonation doesn't just happen in soda, in fact it can be responsible for the cold, arid environment on Mars and the planet's loss of its early atmosphere! Commonly, carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide (CO2) in a liquid. However carbonation is also a reaction in which rocks containing volcanic minerals such as olivine react with water and atmospheric CO2 to turn it into another mineral, called carbonate. During this process, CO2 becomes trapped in the carbonate, removing it from the atmosphere permanently. According to new research, scientists have shown for the first time that Mars may have lost its carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere in a process that could be used to curb global warming on Earth.
A ground-breaking, legally-binding global treaty on reducing mercury pollution has been signed by 92 countries. The treaty spells "the beginning of the end of mercury as a threat to human health and the environment", UN Environment Programme (UNEP) executive director Achim Steiner, told a diplomatic meeting in Japan earlier this month (10-11 October) where the treaty was signed. But much work remains to provide the funding and technical and scientific advice needed to implement the treaty, and to expand mercury monitoring capacity worldwide, experts say.
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.
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.
In the UK, fracking debate distracting public from energy efficiency
October 21, 2013 06:56 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
Public debates such as fracking for shale gas is distracting the nation from focusing on energy efficiency, according to new research from the Energy Saving Trust. The findings of the new poll also reveal one in four households are worried about how the UK will generate enough energy in just FIVE years' time.