Sustainability

Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy
June 19, 2017 04:44 PM - Rice University

A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded an off-grid technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to turn salt water into fresh drinking water. The desalination system, which uses a combination of membrane distillation technology and light-harvesting nanophotonics, is the first major innovation from the Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), a multi-institutional engineering research center based at Rice University

NEWT’s “nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation” technology, or NESMD, combines tried-and-true water treatment methods with cutting-edge nanotechnology that converts sunlight to heat. The technology is described online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy
June 19, 2017 04:44 PM - Rice University

A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded an off-grid technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to turn salt water into fresh drinking water. The desalination system, which uses a combination of membrane distillation technology and light-harvesting nanophotonics, is the first major innovation from the Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), a multi-institutional engineering research center based at Rice University

NEWT’s “nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation” technology, or NESMD, combines tried-and-true water treatment methods with cutting-edge nanotechnology that converts sunlight to heat. The technology is described online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ensuring the long-term success of Nova Scotia's oyster sector
June 16, 2017 08:20 AM - Dalhousie University

After much of Cape Breton’s oyster sector closed in 2002, Dr. Sarah Stewart-Clark, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture in Dal’s Faculty of Agriculture, was determined to find a way to rebuild this 100-year-old economic and cultural activity.

The sector’s closure was the result of a pathogen found in oysters located in the Bras D’Ors Lakes. Known as the Haplosporidium nelsonii parasite (MSX), the disease causes high mortality in oyster populations but has no impact on humans.

Water Management Interventions Push Scarcity Downstream
June 15, 2017 04:48 PM - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Large-scale interventions to water resources, such as irrigation, dams and reservoirs, and water withdrawals, have been essential to human development. But interventions tend to solve water scarcity problems at a local level, while aggravating water scarcity downstream.  In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers have now assessed the impacts of human interventions on water scarcity at a global scale.

Water Management Interventions Push Scarcity Downstream
June 15, 2017 04:48 PM - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Large-scale interventions to water resources, such as irrigation, dams and reservoirs, and water withdrawals, have been essential to human development. But interventions tend to solve water scarcity problems at a local level, while aggravating water scarcity downstream.  In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers have now assessed the impacts of human interventions on water scarcity at a global scale.

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy
June 14, 2017 05:57 PM - University of Huddersfield

In the UK alone, some 1.5 million homes are equipped with solar panels, and it has been estimated that by 2020 the figure could soar to 10 million, with the prospect of lower energy bills for consumers and massive reductions in CO2emissions. Now, a University of Huddersfield researcher is developing new technologies that could enable clusters of houses to share their solar energy, rather than simply exporting surplus electricity to the national grid. Also, new systems for fault detection will enable householders to monitor and maintain the efficiency of their panels.

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy
June 14, 2017 05:57 PM - University of Huddersfield

In the UK alone, some 1.5 million homes are equipped with solar panels, and it has been estimated that by 2020 the figure could soar to 10 million, with the prospect of lower energy bills for consumers and massive reductions in CO2emissions. Now, a University of Huddersfield researcher is developing new technologies that could enable clusters of houses to share their solar energy, rather than simply exporting surplus electricity to the national grid. Also, new systems for fault detection will enable householders to monitor and maintain the efficiency of their panels.

Promising peas' potential in Big Sky Country
June 14, 2017 02:36 PM - American Society of Agronomy

Farmers in Montana, and other parts of the Northern Great Plains, are shifting from cereal mono-cropping to a cereal-dry pea cropping system. This transition is not without its share of unknowns, however.

Yield and performance of pea crops depend on both their genetics and the environment. Environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall can vary greatly. Farmers in different parts of the Plains need to know which varieties of pea will do well in the area they are farming.

Promising peas' potential in Big Sky Country
June 14, 2017 02:36 PM - American Society of Agronomy

Farmers in Montana, and other parts of the Northern Great Plains, are shifting from cereal mono-cropping to a cereal-dry pea cropping system. This transition is not without its share of unknowns, however.

Yield and performance of pea crops depend on both their genetics and the environment. Environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall can vary greatly. Farmers in different parts of the Plains need to know which varieties of pea will do well in the area they are farming.

Finnish demo plant produces renewable fuel from carbon dioxide captured from the air
June 13, 2017 09:51 AM - Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)

The unique Soletair demo plant developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) uses carbon dioxide to produce renewable fuels and chemicals. The pilot plant is coupled to LUT's solar power plant in Lappeenranta.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the technical performance of the overall process and produce 200 litres of fuels and other hydrocarbons for research purposes. This concerns a one-of-a-kind demo plant in which the entire process chain, from solar power generation to hydrocarbon production, is in the same place.

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