Sustainability

Genome sequence of fuel-producing alga announced
May 15, 2017 10:38 AM - Kathleen Phillips via Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

The report, in Genome Announcements, comes after almost seven years of research, according to Dr. Tim Devarenne, AgriLife Research biochemist and principal investigator in College Station. In addition to sequencing the genome, other genetic facts emerged that ultimately could help his team and others studying this green microalga further research toward producing algae and plants as a renewable fuel source.

"This alga is colony-forming, which means that a lot of individual cells grow to form a colony. These cells make lots of hydrocarbons and then export them into an extracellular matrix for storage," Devarenne said. "And these hydrocarbons can be converted into fuels -- gasoline, kerosene and diesel, for example, the same way that one converts petroleum into these fuels."

Invention Produces Cleaner Water with Less Energy and No Filter
May 15, 2017 10:14 AM - Princeton University School of Engineering and Applied Science

The same technology that adds fizz to soda can now be used to remove particles from dirty water. Researchers at Princeton University have found a technique for using carbon dioxide in a low-cost water treatment system that eliminates the need for costly and complex filters.

The system injects CO2 gas into a stream of water as a method of filtering out particles. The gas, which mixes with the water in a system of channels, temporarily changes the water's chemistry. The chemical changes cause the contaminating particles to move to one side of the channel depending on their electrical charge. By taking advantage of this migration, the researchers are able to split the water stream and filter out suspended particles. 

Invention Produces Cleaner Water with Less Energy and No Filter
May 15, 2017 10:14 AM - Princeton University School of Engineering and Applied Science

The same technology that adds fizz to soda can now be used to remove particles from dirty water. Researchers at Princeton University have found a technique for using carbon dioxide in a low-cost water treatment system that eliminates the need for costly and complex filters.

The system injects CO2 gas into a stream of water as a method of filtering out particles. The gas, which mixes with the water in a system of channels, temporarily changes the water's chemistry. The chemical changes cause the contaminating particles to move to one side of the channel depending on their electrical charge. By taking advantage of this migration, the researchers are able to split the water stream and filter out suspended particles. 

Not just your typical garden-variety UAlberta volunteer
May 15, 2017 08:18 AM - University of Alberta

When asked why she loves to garden, Shirley Ross quotes the late Lois Hole, Alberta’s most beloved green thumb.

"Caring is the soul of gardening . . . We take risks and place our trust in factors beyond our control. Yet in the end, we are almost always rewarded with a beautiful harvest."

Six-legged livestock — sustainable food production
May 11, 2017 09:46 AM - University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science

Identifying areas of particular high impact is an important step to improving the environmental sustainability of production systems. Insects have been heralded as the foods of the future - and now the first study to measure the environmental impacts and identify hotspots associated with commercial insect production has been published.

Cricket farming can be a sustainable way to produce animal source foods

The study demonstrated that cricket farming can be a sustainable means of producing animal source foods. The study compared cricket production in Thailand to broiler chicken production. Fifteen different environmental impacts were investigated including global warming potential, resource depletion and eutrophication. In most cases, cricket production had a lower impact than broiler chicken production. The major reason for the lower impacts is the fact that the feed conversion into animal protein is more efficient, as the production of the feed is a major hotspot in both systems.

Six-legged livestock — sustainable food production
May 11, 2017 09:46 AM - University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science

Identifying areas of particular high impact is an important step to improving the environmental sustainability of production systems. Insects have been heralded as the foods of the future - and now the first study to measure the environmental impacts and identify hotspots associated with commercial insect production has been published.

Cricket farming can be a sustainable way to produce animal source foods

The study demonstrated that cricket farming can be a sustainable means of producing animal source foods. The study compared cricket production in Thailand to broiler chicken production. Fifteen different environmental impacts were investigated including global warming potential, resource depletion and eutrophication. In most cases, cricket production had a lower impact than broiler chicken production. The major reason for the lower impacts is the fact that the feed conversion into animal protein is more efficient, as the production of the feed is a major hotspot in both systems.

Neonic Pesticides Threaten Wild Bees' Breeding: Study
May 10, 2017 08:07 AM - University of Guelph

Neonicotinoid pesticides hinder wild queen bumblebees’ reproductive success, according to a new University of Guelph study.

The study is the first to link exposure to thiamethoxam — one of the most commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides — to fewer fully developed eggs in queens from four wild bumblebee species that forage in farmland.

Researchers develop recycling for carbon fiber composites
May 8, 2017 09:23 AM - Washington State University

A WSU research team for the first time has developed a promising way to recycle the popular carbon fiber plastics that are used in everything from modern airplanes and sporting goods to the wind energy industry.

The work, reported in Polymer Degradation and Stability, provides an efficient way to re-use the expensive carbon fiber and other materials that make up the composites.

Researchers develop recycling for carbon fiber composites
May 8, 2017 09:23 AM - Washington State University

A WSU research team for the first time has developed a promising way to recycle the popular carbon fiber plastics that are used in everything from modern airplanes and sporting goods to the wind energy industry.

The work, reported in Polymer Degradation and Stability, provides an efficient way to re-use the expensive carbon fiber and other materials that make up the composites.

Polluted air can generate power
May 8, 2017 06:35 AM - KU Leuven

Researchers from the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven have succeeded in developing a process that purifies air and, at the same time, generates power. The device must only be exposed to light in order to function.

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