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Rescooped by John Purificati from Eclectic Technology!

Nature's Engineers – Google Green

Nature's Engineers – Google Green | iScience Teacher |

"This Earth Day, we’re celebrating something close to our hearts, engineers. Whether it’s a towering aspen or a tiny mushroom, nature has plenty to teach us. We're taking a look at six of our favorite outdoor innovators to see how we can follow their lead and treat the earth better."

Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, April 23, 2013 9:30 PM

For Earth Day this year Google has created a website "looking at some of our favorite engineers from nature to see how they can teach us to treat the environment better...see the beauty and ingenuity of the natural world through photos from National Geographic. We also want to provide easy ways to be greener in our own lives, so this site shows us how we can all be like those organisms by taking simple actions to care for the environment." (This quote is from Google's official blog.)

The images are amazing and you can "visit" two sites, South Africa, home of the "smart eaters", more commonly referred to as elephants and the Great Barrier Reef, home to the "ride sharers", also known as remora fish.

Rescooped by John Purificati from Science-Videos!

Turning algae into biofuel: A one minute method for biocrude

Converting algae to biofuel could be a sustainable solution to the need for liquid fuel in the United States, according to U-M researchers. Scientists in the chemical engineering department are working to create an effective method for converting the plant, which can be harvested continuously and grown in any water condition.


Phil Savage ( is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemical Engineering ( at the University of Michigan. His research focus is on energy production from renewable resources, developing novel processes for converting biomass hydrogen, methane, and liquid transportation fuels.


Savage's ocean-going organism of choice is the green marine micro-alga of the genus Nannochloropsis. To make their one-minute biocrude, Savage and Julia Faeth, a doctoral student in Savage's lab, filled a steel pipe connector with 1.5 milliliters of wet algae, capped it and plunged it into 1,100-degree Fahrenheit sand. The small volume ensured that the algae was heated through, but with only a minute to warm up, the algae's temperature should have just grazed the 550-degree mark before the team pulled the reactor back out. Previously, Savage and his team heated the algae for times ranging from 10 to 90 minutes. They saw their best results, with about half of the algae converted to biocrude, after treating it for 10 to 40 minutes at 570 degrees.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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