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.

Turning Sunlight into Fuel
October 11, 2016 03:57 PM - Renee Cho via Columbia University Earth Institute.

In one hour, the Earth receives enough energy from the sun to meet all of mankind’s energy needs for one year. Yet the world uses little more than one percent of the sun’s energy for our electricity needs. A major obstacle to being able to tap into the full potential of solar energy is that it is intermittent—we cannot get a steady supply of solar energy because the sun doesn’t always shine.

In order for renewable energy to take hold on the scale necessary to help combat climate change, an efficient and economical way to store the sun’s energy is needed for times when the sun doesn’t shine. But even when that technology becomes available, we will still need to find a way to use renewable energy to power the transportation sector, one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

European union could require new homes to have electric car chargers
October 11, 2016 02:33 PM - Yale Environment 360

Starting in 2019, all new or refurbished homes and apartment buildings in Europe will be required to have electric vehicle recharging stations built on the premises, according to a draft directive from the European Union.

Energy hijacking pathway found within photosynthesis
October 11, 2016 10:45 AM - University of Cambridge

In a study led by Dr Jenny Zhang, a Research Associate at St John's, academics have found an unexpected performance-destructive pathway within Photosystem II, an enzyme at the heart of oxygenic photosynthesis, and one that is also being used to inspire new approaches to renewable fuel production.

Scotland to Generate Some of World's First Kite-Driven Power in 2017
October 7, 2016 03:07 PM - Yale Environment 360

The United Kingdom will begin harnessing energy from kites flying 450 meters above ground as early as next year. Developed by UK-based Kite Power Solutions, the system is composed of two 40-meter wide kites that rise and fall in tandem, spooling a tether line to turn a turbine.

Efficient organic solar cells with very low driving force
October 6, 2016 10:39 AM - LINKĂ–PING UNIVERSITY

It was believed that efficient operation of organic solar cells requires a large driving force, which limits the efficiency of organic solar cells. Now, a large group of researchers led by Feng Gao, lecturer at IFM at LiU, He Yan at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Kenan Gundogdu at the North Carolina State University have developed efficient organic solar cells with very low driving force.

This implies that the intrinsic limitations of organic solar cells are no greater than those of other photovoltaic technologies, bringing them a step closer to commercialisation.

Non-toxic solvent removes barrier to commercialisation of perovskite solar cells
October 5, 2016 12:15 PM - University of Oxford

Scientists at Oxford University have developed a solvent system with reduced toxicity that can be used in the manufacture of perovskite solar cells, clearing one of the barriers to the commercialisation of a technology that promises to revolutionise the solar industry.

Perovskites – a family of materials with the crystal structure of calcium titanate – have been described as a 'wonder material' and shown to be almost as efficient as silicon in harnessing solar energy, as well as being significantly cheaper to produce.

UC Researcher Develops Clean Water-Treatment Option to Target Sporadic Outbreaks
October 5, 2016 10:26 AM - John Bach

A University of Cincinnati scientist has engineered an environmentally friendly technology to zap outbreak-causing viruses and bacteria from public drinking water.

Environmental and biomedical engineer David Wendell, an associate professor in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a protein-based photocatalyst that uses light to generate hydrogen peroxide to eliminate E. coli, Listeria, and potentially protozoa like giardia and cryptosporidium.

New Technology Helps Pinpoint Sources of Water Contamination
October 4, 2016 02:01 PM - Julie Chao

Berkeley Lab develops better method of environmental monitoring using the PhyloChip, finds surprising results in Russian River watershed

When the local water management agency closes your favorite beach due to unhealthy water quality, how reliable are the tests they base their decisions on? As it turns out, those tests, as well as the standards behind them, have not been updated in decades. Now scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a highly accurate, DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water.

It May Not Cost You More To Drive Home In A Climate-Friendly Car
September 27, 2016 02:34 PM - NPR

It has been a common belief that low-emissions vehicles, like hybrids and electric cars, are more expensive than other choices. But a new study finds that when operating and maintenance costs are included in a vehicle's price, cleaner cars may actually be a better bet.

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