• Robots may bring reef relief

    A study authored by University of Delaware professor Art Trembanis and colleagues reveals new details about deep sea reefs — known as mesophotic reefs — near the island of Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean.

    While coral reefs worldwide are in decline, the waters surrounding Bonaire comprise a marine park known as a scuba “diver’s paradise” because it contains some of the most well-preserved coral reefs in the Caribbean basin.

    Trembanis and colleagues used autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to map these deep sea reefs, situated 100 to over 500 feet (30 to over 150 meters) below the ocean surface, which are considered a lifeline for shallow reef recovery due to stressors like warming (bleaching), ocean acidification, over fishing and other deteriorations.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Time to develop British Columbia wave energy advantage: new report

    British Columbia now has enough detailed information about the height, frequency and direction of its coastal waves to start developing and testing wave energy converters in the ocean, according to a new report released at an energy conference at the University of Victoria today.

    Produced by the UVic-led Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and co-authored by researchers at UVic’s West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI), Wave Energy: A Primer for British Columbia summarises key research findings about the magnitude of BC’s wave energy potential, explains how wave energy converters work, and examines the opportunities and challenges of the sector.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Turning chicken poop and weeds into biofuel

    Chicken is a favorite, inexpensive meat across the globe. But the bird’s popularity results in a lot of waste that can pollute soil and water. One strategy for dealing with poultry poop is to turn it into biofuel, and now scientists have developed a way to do this by mixing the waste with another environmental scourge, an invasive weed that is affecting agriculture in Africa. They report their approach in ACS’ journal Energy & Fuels.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Neonic Pesticides Threaten Wild Bees' Spring Breeding: Study

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

    >> Read the Full Article
  • University of Saskatchewan project will use biowaste technology to clean up polluted soil

    Soil scientists Derek Peak and Steven Siciliano and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) professor Paolo Mussone will work with industry partners Federated Cooperatives Limited (FCL) and United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Limited (UFA) to develop and test new soil additives that can trap and remove petroleum hydrocarbons for easier digestion by soil-based organisms.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Flexible, organic and biodegradable: Stanford researchers develop new wave of electronics

    As electronics become increasingly pervasive in our lives – from smart phones to wearable sensors – so too does the ever rising amount of electronic waste they create. A United Nations Environment Program report found that almost 50 million tons of electronic waste were thrown out in 2017—more than 20 percent higher than waste in 2015. Troubled by this mounting waste, Stanford engineer Zhenan Bao and her team are rethinking electronics. “In my group, we have been trying to mimic the function of human skin to think about how to develop future electronic devices,” Bao said. She described how skin is stretchable, self-healable and also biodegradable – an attractive list of characteristics for electronics. “We have achieved the first two [flexible and self-healing], so the biodegradability was something we wanted to tackle.”

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Solar Cells with Nanostripes

    Solar cells based on perovskites reach high efficiencies: They convert more than 20 percent of the incident light directly into usable power. On their search for underlying physical mechanisms, researchers of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now detected strips of nanostructures with alternating directions of polarization in the perovskite layers. These structures might serve as transport paths for charge carriers. This is reported in the Energy & Environmental Science Journal.

    The perovskites used by the KIT scientists are metal organic compounds with a special crystal structure and excellent photovoltaic properties. Since their discovery in 2009, perovskite solar cells have experienced a rapid development. Meanwhile, they reach power conversion efficiencies of more than 20 percent. This makes them one of the most promising photovoltaic technologies. Research into perovskite solar cells, however, faces two special challenges: The light-absorbing layers have to be made more robust to environmental impacts and the lead contained therein has to be replaced by environmentally more compatible elements. This requires in-depth understanding of physical mechanisms that enable the high conversion rate of absorbed solar energy into electric power. 

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Photoluminescent display absorbs, converts light into energy

    By replacing the phosphor screen in a laser phosphor display (LPD) with a luminescent solar concentrator (LSC), one can harvest energy from ambient light as well as display high-resolution images. "Energy-harvesting laser phosphor display and its design considerations," published recently by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in the Journal of Photonics for Energy, describes the development, processes, and applications of an LPD.

    In a proof-of-concept experiment, lead author Ichiro Fujieda and his collegeagues at Ritsumeikan University fabricated a 95 × 95 × 10 mm screen by sandwiching a thin layer of coumarin 6 with two transparent plates. These plates guided the photoluminescent (PL) photons emitted in both directions toward their edge surfaces. After removing the light source in a DMD-based commercial grade projector and feeding a blue laser beam into its optics, the screen generated green images.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA to Measure Greenhouse Gases Over the Mid-Atlantic Region in May

    In May, a team of Goddard scientists will begin measuring greenhouse gases over the Mid-Atlantic region — an area chosen in part because it encompasses a range of vegetation, climate, and soil types that would influence the exchange of carbon dioxide and methane between the Earth and the atmosphere.

    The airborne campaign, called the Carbon Airborne Flux Experiment, or CARAFE, could help scientists better understand the exchange process, also known as flux, and improve computer models that predict Earth’s carbon sinks, natural or artificial areas that absorb carbon dioxide or methane.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than previously thought

    Glacier flow at the southern Antarctic Peninsula has increased since the 1990s, but a new study has found the change to be only a third of what was recently reported.

    >> Read the Full Article