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Graphene reveals yet another extraordinary property

Graphene reveals yet another extraordinary property | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Researchers have has added superpermeability with respect to water to graphene's ever lengthening list of remarkable properties.
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Sustainable Technologies
Alternative energy and sustainable living technologies.
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Harvesting energy from humidity: Free, green energy from leaping water droplets

Harvesting energy from humidity: Free, green energy from leaping water droplets | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
The study of a super-hydrophobic surface has led to discovery of a method for generating power from condensation. Condensing water droplets literally leap off the surface and produce an electric charge that can be harvested.

Via Digital Sustainability
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Digital Sustainability's curator insight, July 15, 7:57 AM

It’s time to get rid of that dehumidifier — you are just throwing awayfree energy by sucking all the moisture out of the air, according to some new research published by a team from MIT. Postdoc researchers Nenad Miljkovic and engineering professor Evelyn Wang figured out last year that water droplets jumping off a hydrophobic surface could gain an electric charge, but now they’re worked out how to capture that energy, essentially pulling power out of thin air.

The team happened upon this mechanism quite by accident. The goal when the leaping water was discovered was to design a more efficient heat transfer material for power plants. That’s not nearly as sexy as conjuring power from humidity, but Miljkovic and Wang noticed something odd when working with a super-hydrophobic surface (pictured above). The condensing water droplets sometimes spontaneously jumped away from the hydrophobic surface, which was the goal as it cools much more efficiently. They didn’t expect the water droplets to produce an electric charge in the process, and that may have significant ramifications.

It’s the natural tendency of water to flow away from a hydrophobic surface, but in turning the leaping water into a viable method of power generation, the researchers had to give it somewhere to go. To encourage the water droplets to take a leap, a hydrophilic surface was placed just above the hydrophobic one. So the water really wants to make the trip from hydrophobic to hydrophilic, and it brings a few electrons along for the ride. The charge difference between the two plates can then be used to provide power.

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Microalgae-based biofuel can help to meet world energy demand

Microalgae-based biofuel can help to meet world energy demand | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it

Microalgae-based biofuel not only has the potential to quench a sizable chunk of the world's energy demands, say Utah State University researchers. It's a potential game-changer.

 

"That's because microalgae produces much higher yields of fuel-producing biomass than other traditional fuel feedstocks and it doesn't compete with food crops," says USU mechanical engineering graduate student Jeff Moody.

 

With USU colleagues Chris McGinty and Jason Quinn, Moody published findings from an unprecedented worldwide microalgae productivity assessment in the May 26, 2014 Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team's research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Despite its promise as a biofuel source, the USU investigators questioned whether "pond scum" could be a silver bullet-solution to challenges posed by fossil fuel dependence.

 

"Our aim wasn't to debunk existing literature, but to produce a more exhaustive, accurate and realistic assessment of the current global yield of microalgae biomass and lipids," Moody says.

 

With Quinn, assistant professor in USU's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and McGinty, associate director of USU's Remote Sensing/Geographic Information Systems Laboratory in the Department of Wildland Resources, Moody leveraged a large-scale, outdoor microalgae growth model. Using meteorological data from 4,388 global locations, the team determined the current global productivity potential of microalgae.

 

Algae, he says, yields about 2,500 gallons of biofuel per acre per year. In contrast, soybeans yield approximately 48 gallons; corn about 18 gallons.

 

"In addition, soybeans and corn require arable land that detracts from food production," Quinn says. "Microalgae can be produced in non-arable areas unsuitable for agriculture."

 

The researchers estimate untillable land in Brazil, Canada, China and the U.S. could be used to produce enough algal biofuel to supplement more than 30 percent of those countries' fuel consumption.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, CCRES
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Tekrighter's curator insight, May 29, 7:30 AM

Here's a way to produce biofuels that does not compete with food production.

Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, May 29, 5:52 PM

Land that is not used for food can be used to produce algae-based biofuel to meet a large fraction of the world's energy needs.  But another alternative is vertical farming in urban areas, where we can create as much space as we need.  

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, May 29, 11:50 PM

This study highlights the commercial viability of algae biofuels.


The game changing aspect of the technology is that it does not contribute to food insecurity http://sco.lt/5CifIH, a global issue aggravated by climate change http://sco.lt/86HUtl.


However, would we garner enough political will to wrest monopoly from oil and gas companies?

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Texas A&M gets $2.2 million state grant for wind energy research

Texas A&M gets $2.2 million state grant for wind energy research | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
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Texas A&M gets $2.2 million state grant for wind energy research
San Antonio Business Journal (blog)
Texas A&M University's Wind Energy Center has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF).
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New Way To Make Biodiesel Using Fat From Alligators And Other Animals

New Way To Make Biodiesel Using Fat From Alligators And Other Animals | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
RedOrbit New Way To Make Biodiesel Using Fat From Alligators And Other Animals RedOrbit Chicken fat, pork fat or beef fat –– none is the cornerstone of a healthful diet –– but animal fats, including those from alligators, could give an economical,...
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New discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere

New discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves...

Via Gust MEES, Reylinda T. Phillips
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Austin R Stillwell's comment, March 15, 8:33 PM
{title}-New discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere.{author}-James Hataway.{summary}-carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major force of global climate change.-researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products.-discovery may soon lead to the creation of biofuels made directly from the carbon dioxide {opinion?]-no, this article is based on facts.{important}-yes this can help with air pollution and help protect our planet.{source}- http://phys.org/news/2013-03-discovery-scientists-fuel-co2-atmosphere.html<br>;
Mason Mclaughlin's comment, March 27, 3:53 AM
Title: New discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere Date:Mar 26, 2013 Author: James Hataway Main Idea: Researchers are finding ways to use carbon dioxide for industrial purposes. Summary: They use a microorganism to absorb the CO2. They can remove it from the plants and make the CO2 useful Created through the P. furiosus process is burned, Questions: Will car fuel be a renewable resource now? Opinion: N/A. Importance: This will help reduce air pollution. Sources: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-discovery-scientists-fuel-co2-atmosphere.html
Kinsey Harrison's comment, March 30, 8:05 AM
title:New discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere author James Hataway summary: during when plants use photosynthesis 2. the reachers then used hydrogen gas to make a chemical reaction 3.When the fuel created through the P. furiosus process is burned, it releases the same amount of carbon dioxide used to create it opinion; that this was kinda boring too read. Queestion.;why did you choose to write this source;http://phys.org/news/2013-03-discovery-scientists-fuel-co2-atmosphere.html
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Architect Dreams Up Lilypad: Floating City Ark for Eco-Refugees

Architect Dreams Up Lilypad: Floating City Ark for Eco-Refugees | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Remember I wrote about the floating home solution that Dutch builders are using to counteract rising sea levels?
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New material could double solar cell efficiency

New material could double solar cell efficiency | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
US researchers have unveiled a new compound which could reduce the number of materials used in solar cells. () Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University have demonstrated a new material that can both capture photons from visible light and get current to flow, paving the way for cheaper, more efficient solar PV cells.

Via Digital Sustainability
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Digital Sustainability's curator insight, February 25, 6:15 AM

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University have demonstrated a new material that can both capture photons from visible light and get current to flow, paving the way for cheaper, more efficient solar PV cells.

Conventional solar panels are based around the interface of two materials: one which absorbs light and excites electrons, and one which causes them to flow in a consistent direction, producing an electric current. The interface which the excited electrons pass through is called the semiconductor p-n junction. Once an electron has crossed over, it cannot return the other way, thus creating the necessary flow.

However, some of the energy from photons is lost while electrons wait to make the jump through the junction. There’s even a name for the maximum theoretical efficiency of cells that use p-n junctions: the Shockley-Queisser limit. Multi-junction cells are able to overcome it, but this increases the complexity of the solar cell structure, which has a knock-on effect for production costs.

A small category of materials are able to send electrons off in a particular direction independently, without a junction; this is known as the ‘bulk’ photovoltaic effect rather than ‘interface’. The phenomenon has been known about since the 1970s but has previously only been shown to work with UV light. As most of the energy from the sun is in the visible and infrared spectrum, it hasn’t therefore been utilised for conventional solar cells.

A new material compound has been shown to generate the flow of electrons without a junction across a much wider spectrum of light. The compound created by the US researchers is a combination of a ‘parent’ material, potassium niobate, that lends it a bulk photovoltaic effect and a secondary one, barium nickel niobate, that lowers the threshold at which photons are absorbed, allowing it to capture more rays. The two materials are ground into fine powders, mixed and heated in an oven to create a ‘perovskite’ crystal that has the properties of both. The researchers fine-tuned the ratios involved until they hit upon the ideal combination.

“A solar cell based on the discovery could double power conversion efficiencies possible with conventional solar cells, theoretically”, says Professor Andrew Rappe at the University of Pennsylvania. It could also help to reduce the amount of materials used in a solar cell, and as perovskites are easier to process than silicon, make them more cost-effective too. The next step, Rappe says, is to create a full-scale solar cell that uses the modified perovskite, which should happen within two years.

- See more at: http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/new-material-could-double-solar-cell-efficiency#sthash.VwP2O2lk.dpuf

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Canadian Hydroponic Startup Perfects Cubic Farming System

Canadian Hydroponic Startup Perfects Cubic Farming System | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
On the verge of opening their new Quebec store, Canadian startup Urban Barns looks set to be a leader in the sustainable grocery store industry.

Via Alan Yoshioka
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Urine Powered Generator: 6 Hours Of Power On 1 Litre

Urine Powered Generator: 6 Hours Of Power On 1 Litre | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
While the mainstream media continues to push the idea that we are facing an energy crisis due to a lack of resources, more people are actually looking into alternative energy and discovering that there really is no energy crisis at at all.
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Four Innovative Green Technologies That Just Might Save The World

Four Innovative Green Technologies That Just Might Save The World | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it

With many developing nations rapidly industrialising, dependent on fossil fuels as their energy mainstay, CO2 concentrations show no signs of abating. What will the ramifications be for food production and health moving forward in to the 21st century if weather patterns become even more hostile than the previous decade?

 

Fortunately, scientists and engineers are working on ways to neutralise emissions in to, or actively reduce the carbon content of the atmosphere until the time arises when we can transition to cleaner energy solutions. In the interim phase we find ourselves however, there are no perfect solutions, but there are technologies and techniques that can help combat the climate catastrophe that will be unleashed if CO2 concentrations continue to rise unchecked. Here a four such technologies…


Via Lauren Moss, Flora Moon
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Brian Hammerstix's curator insight, February 1, 11:54 AM

This has some interesting ideas but I'm not so sure about  bio-engineering... that seems like it could backfire or get out of control and have unintended side-effects.

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Wave Energy Carpet Needs Help To Roll Out Prototype

Wave Energy Carpet Needs Help To Roll Out Prototype | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
EarthTechling Wave Energy Carpet Needs Help To Roll Out EarthTechling The researchers are aiming to have a pilot project deployed in 2016, but to get there they first need to develop a scale prototype – a 1:25 model – and figure out exactly what...
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How to Make Electricity With Bacteria-Coated Rubber

How to Make Electricity With Bacteria-Coated Rubber | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Images: Xi Chen/Columbia University A new electric generator has a modest and unexpected energy source: A small strip of latex rubber coated with bacterial spores.  The contraption makes use of the harmless soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which...
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This Pixelated Chair Is Made From Sugar, Sake, And Plaster

This Pixelated Chair Is Made From Sugar, Sake, And Plaster | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
This Pixelated Chair Is Made From Sugar, Sake, And Plaster
Co.Exist
Widrig had lined up an industrial 3-D printer to manufacture the object using a stereolithography printing process, but then the printer pulled out of the project.
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Solar Cell Efficiency Rises By 30% Through Singlet Fission

Solar Cell Efficiency Rises By 30% Through Singlet Fission | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Scientists were pretty excited when they discovered you could convert light energy directly into electricity by capturing photons in semiconductors, exciting them into “excitons” (bound electron with negative charge and hole with positive), and capturing the resultant current through electrodes. Now a group of four chemists from the University of California, Riverside, has worked out a

Via Digital Sustainability
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Digital Sustainability's curator insight, July 11, 7:07 AM

It’s called “singlet fission,” and by using it, we should be able to boost solar cell efficiency by as much as 30%, providing “Third Generation” solar power. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters published the research results in an Editor’s Choice perspective article last month.

Christopher Bardeen, the chemistry professor whose lab led the research, explains what sent him  along this line of inquiry:

Our research got its launch about ten years ago when we started thinking about solar energy and what new types of photophysics this might require. Global warming concerns and energy security have made solar energy conversion an important subject from society’s point of view. More efficient solar cells would lead to wider use of this clean energy source.

“If a triplet exciton has half the energy of a singlet, then it is possible for one singlet exciton, generated by one photon, to split into two triplet excitons,” Dr. Bardeen explains. “Thus, you could have a 200% yield of excitons—and hopefully, electrons—per absorbed photon.”

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Perry gives his Aggies a push with offshore wind farm grant

Perry gives his Aggies a push with offshore wind farm grant | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Perry gives his Aggies a push with offshore wind farm grant
Dallas Business Journal (blog)
Perry, an Aggie alum, awarded the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to the Wind Energy Center at Texas A&M University Friday.
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Protein Modification Could Push Cellulosic Biofuel Forward

Protein Modification Could Push Cellulosic Biofuel Forward | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Protein Modification Could Push Cellulosic Biofuel Forward
Farm Futures
Production of cost-efficient cellulosic biofuels has been limited by lignin, which binds tightly to the cellulose found in plants' cell walls.
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How Unconventional Partnerships Can Spur Sustainable Innovation

How Unconventional Partnerships Can Spur Sustainable Innovation | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
How Unconventional Partnerships Can Spur Sustainable Innovation
Environmental Leader
Global resources are dwindling.
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This Giant Floating Farm Uses Melting Icebergs To Bring Local Food To Greenland

This Giant Floating Farm Uses Melting Icebergs To Bring Local Food To Greenland | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
The Arctic Harvester gathers up freshwater to feed hydroponic greenhouses--and an 800-person on-board community.

Via Alan Yoshioka
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China's artificial 'nuclear winter' wrecking havoc on agriculture

China's artificial 'nuclear winter' wrecking havoc on agriculture | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
DigitalJournal.com China's artificial 'nuclear winter' wrecking havoc on agriculture DigitalJournal.com The professor has been able to demonstrate that air pollutants adhere to greenhouse surfaces, cutting the effects of sunlight inside by 50...
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Hydraulic seafloor carpet could harness the energy of ocean waves

Hydraulic seafloor carpet could harness the energy of ocean waves | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Treehugger Hydraulic seafloor carpet could harness the energy of ocean waves Treehugger Currently, Alam and the engineering team at UC Berkeley is using crowdfunding to develop their new Wave Energy Converter, with a campaign on Experiment.com...
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In Sweden, the world’s tallest wood skyscraper | SmartPlanet

In Sweden, the world’s tallest wood skyscraper | SmartPlanet | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Is an eco-friendly, 34-storey wooden skyscraper soon to become a reality?

Via Isalyne Couteaux, Adela Ciurea
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GREEN POWER MONITOR - Singapore’s Artificial Super Trees breath life into the Urban Oasis

GREEN POWER MONITOR - Singapore’s Artificial Super Trees breath life into the Urban Oasis | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Singapore’s Artificial Super Trees breath life into the Urban Oasis… And they look fuckin cool. #solarpower #solarenergy #greenenergy #livegreen #travel #cultureshock #Asia #singapore...
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How Can We Harness Ocean Waves to Power Your Home?

How Can We Harness Ocean Waves to Power Your Home? | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
How Can We Harness Ocean Waves to Power Your Home? (Who said it's all about apps nowadays? CDTM alumnus Marcus Lehmann wants to build a power plant on the ocean floor...
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Two-Dimensional Materials Get Into Hydrogen Gas Production

Two-Dimensional Materials Get Into Hydrogen Gas Production | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
One of the inconvenient truths about fuel cells for powering automobiles—a key to the establishment of the so-called hydrogen economy—is that it is extremely costly and energy intensive to isolate hydrogen gas.
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Iceland successfully tests the first magma-enhanced geothermal power rig

Iceland successfully tests the first magma-enhanced geothermal power rig | Sustainable Technologies | Scoop.it
Iceland's Deep Drilling Project turned up just the third direct magma strike in history -- a strike that could help create a new template for geothermal power going forward.
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