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  • New process could slash energy demands of fertilizer, nitrogen-based chemicals
    on January 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizer forms the backbone of the world food supply, but its manufacture requires a tremendous amount of energy. Now, computer modeling points to a method that could drastically cut the energy needed by using sunlight in the manufacturing process. […]

  • Magnetic liquids improve energy efficiency of buildings
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Climate protection and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions have been on top of global development agendas. Accordingly, research and development projects have been conducted on national and international levels, which aim for the improvement of the CO2-footprint in diverse processes. Apart from particularly energy-intensive sectors of the industry, the building sector in particular is among the biggest CO2-emmitters: from residential homes, manufacturing facilities and storage depots to big commercial buildings, about 40 percent of the energy consumption within the EU are due to the heating, cooling, air conditioning and lighting of buildings. […]

  • Shale gas is one of the least sustainable ways to produce electricity, research finds
    on January 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Shale gas is one of least sustainable options for producing electricity, according to new research. […]

  • Slow 'hot electrons' could improve solar cell efficiency
    on January 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Photons with energy higher than the 'band gap' of the semiconductor absorbing them give rise to what are known as hot electrons. The extra energy is lost very fast, as it is converted into heat so it does not contribute to the voltage. Researchers have now found a material in which these hot electrons retain their high energy levels for much longer. […]

  • Solar fuels: better efficiency using microwires
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Researchers have made significant efficiency improvements to the technology used to generate solar fuels. This involves the direct conversion of energy from sunlight into a usable fuel (in this case, hydrogen). Using only earth-abundant materials, they developed the most efficient conversion method to date. The trick was to decouple the site where sunlight is captured from the site where the conversion reaction takes place. […]

  • New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
    on January 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Researchers have for the first time have used hydroacoustics as a method for comparing the abundance of fishes within and outside marine protected areas (MPAs). […]

  • Thinking outside the box on climate mitigation
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    A new article lays the groundwork for alternative climate mitigation scenarios that place less reliance on unproven negative emissions technologies in the future. […]

  • California's water saving brings bonus effects
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Water-saving measures in California have also led to substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and electricity consumption in the state. […]

  • All in the family: Focused genomic comparisons
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:39 am

    Aspergillus fungi are pathogens, decomposers, and important sources of biotechnologically-important enzymes. Scientists now report the first outcome from the large-scale sequencing of 300+ Aspergillus species. These findings are a proof of concept of novel methods to functionally annotate genomes to more quickly identify genes of interest. […]

  • New hope for critically endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey
    on January 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Eight years after the discovery of a new primate species in Myanmar, scientists have released a new report revealing how the 'snubby' is faring. […]

  • Interconnected benefits of urban agriculture
    on January 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Researchers have assessed the value of urban agriculture and quantified its benefits at global scale. […]

  • Grocery store program improves farmers' adoption of environmental practices
    on January 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    In one of the first analyses of a company-led sustainability program in the food and agriculture space, researchers found a major grocery chain fostered increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level. […]

  • Water-based, eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner
    on January 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    A team of researchers has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius without the use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants. […]

  • Chemists discover plausible recipe for early life on Earth
    on January 8, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Chemists find key chemical reactions that support life today could have been carried out with ingredients likely present on the planet four billion years ago. […]

  • We need one global network of 1000 stations to build an Earth observatory
    on January 4, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Scientists call for a continuous, comprehensive monitoring of interactions between the planet's surface and atmosphere. […]

  • Streams can be sensors
    on December 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Scientists have shown that streams can be key health indicators of a region's landscape, but the way they're being monitored can be improved. […]

  • Scientists should be super modelers
    on December 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Scholars and conservationists want to aim for the right future to preserve biodiversity and plan sustainable environments. One of those scholars is calling for due diligence to make sure the right data, not conventional wisdom, shapes that target. […]

  • Protected tropical forests are threatened by the bounty of adjacent oil palm plantations
    on December 21, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    A new study has warned of the threat that oil palm production poses to tropical forests. […]

  • Panning for silver in laundry wastewater
    on December 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Silver nanoparticles are being used in clothing for their anti-odor abilities but some of this silver comes off when the clothes are laundered. The wastewater from this process could end up in the environment, possibly harming aquatic life, so researchers have attempted to recover the silver. Now, one group reports that detergent chemistry plays a significant role in how much of this silver can be removed from laundry wastewater. […]

  • A functional genomics database for plant microbiome studies
    on December 19, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Most of the interaction between microbes and plants occurs at the interface between the roots and soil. Biologists have isolated novel bacteria from plant root environments and combined the new genomes with thousands of publicly available genomes representing the major groups of plant-associated bacteria, and bacteria from plant and non-plant environments. Through the resulting database, researchers identified genes enriched in the genomes of plant-associated and root-associated organisms. […]

  • Nontraditional sites for future solar farms
    on December 19, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    In a study published today in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers at the University of California, Riverside and the University of California, Davis, explored the possibility of developing solar installations on a variety of unconventional sites in California's Central Valley. […]

  • Expanding solar energy without encroaching on potential farmland and conservation areas
    on December 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    As the world tries to combat climate change, sustainable forms of energy are on the rise. Solar energy is of particular interest, but arrays of photovoltaic panels take up a lot of space and can compete for prime food-producing land. Now researchers have found plenty of places to install solar devices without taking up arable land, while generating enough power to help regions meet their energy goals. […]

  • Achieving sustainable resource use attainable through science of cooperation
    on December 18, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Societies can achieve environmental sustainability by nurturing cooperation, according to researchers. […]

  • Floating solar fuels rig created for seawater electrolysis
    on December 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Chemical engineers have developed a novel photovoltaic-powered electrolysis device that can operate as a stand-alone platform that floats on open water. The floating PV-electrolyzer can be thought of as a 'solar fuels rig' that bears some resemblance to deep-sea oil rigs -- but it would produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water instead of extracting petroleum from beneath the sea floor. […]

  • Conserving the forests
    on December 14, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Certification programs are being reevaluated as options for sustaining tropical forests, explain scientists. […]

  • Converting waste water from dairies to animal feed and aviation fuel
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Scientists have developed a bioprocess that enables conversion of acid whey, a dairy by-product, without the use of additional chemicals. Scientists used microbiome cultures similar to those in the human gut. The new bio-oil can be used in animal feed or, after further refinement, as a fuel for airplanes. […]

  • North Sea water and recycled metal combined to help reduce global warming
    on December 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Scientists have used sea water collected from Whitby in North Yorkshire, and scrap metal to develop a technology that could help capture more than 850 million tons of unwanted carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. […]

  • Shrinking wilderness ignored at our peril
    on December 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Maps of the world's most important wilderness areas are now freely available online. […]

  • Exergy analysis confirms advantages of closed-loop recycling of wood
    on December 11, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Another ten years -- that is approximately how long sustainable forestry will be able to satisfy the continuously growing demand for wood. In Germany and Europe, new concepts are therefore being discussed for more responsible and efficient industrial use of the renewable, but still limited wood resources. Researchers are using data from a European research project to analyze the potential efficiency of multiple use between harvesting and combustion of wood. […]

  • Many more bacteria have electrically conducting filaments
    on December 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    The microbiologists who have discovered electrically conducting microfilaments or 'nanowires' in the bacterium Geobacter, announce in a new article that they have discovered the unexpected structures in many other species, greatly broadening the research field on electrically conducting filaments. […]