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  • Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs. […]

  • Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy
    on June 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded a direct solar desalination technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to heat salt water for membrane distillation. The technology could provide off-grid water treatment for some of the 1 billion people who lack access to clean water. […]

  • Sustainable ethanol from carbon dioxide? A possible path
    on June 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    A recent discovery could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This promising technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst. […]

  • California named state with the worst air quality (again)
    on June 19, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    High ozone levels and a quickly growing population are making it tough to implement regulations to reduce pollution, says a professor. […]

  • Could renewable 'power-by-wire' help fix China’s air pollution problems?
    on June 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Bringing renewable power ‘by wire’ from western China to its power-hungry Eastern cities could have benefits for both local air quality and global climate change, new research has found. […]

  • Dryland cropping systems research addresses future drought and hunger issues
    on June 16, 2017 at 1:37 am

    The projected world population by 2056 is 10 billion. If researchers succeed in improving the yield potential of 40 percent of global land area under arid and semi-arid conditions, it will lead to a significant contribution to future food security. […]

  • Global diet and farming methods 'must change for environment's sake'
    on June 16, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Reducing meat consumption and using more efficient farming methods globally are essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environmental, a new study says. The research also found that future increases in agricultural sustainability are likely to be driven by dietary shifts and increases in efficiency, rather than changes between food production systems. […]

  • Taking circular economy to the next level
    on June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    While principles of a circular economy have been adopted by businesses, governments and NGOs, leading researchers say it's time to take the discussion and analysis to the next level. […]

  • New map highlights sinking Louisiana coast
    on June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    A subsidence map of coastal Louisiana has now been created, putting the rate at which this region is sinking at just over one third of an inch per year. […]

  • Hydroelectric dams may jeopardize the Amazon's future
    on June 14, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Hundreds of built and proposed hydroelectric dams may significantly harm life in and around the Amazon by trapping the flow of rich nutrients and modifying the climate from Central America to the Gulf of Mexico, experts report. […]

  • Energy-efficient cleaning robot
    on June 14, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    State-of-the-art solar cells are efficient -- but are even more so when they are kept clean. A cleaning robot enables solar panels to deliver at full capacity. […]

  • Plastic made from sugar and carbon dioxide
    on June 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Some biodegradable plastics could in the future be made using sugar and carbon dioxide, replacing unsustainable plastics made from crude oil. […]

  • Iqaluit could start running out of fresh water by 2024
    on June 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Without action, the supply of fresh water in Iqaluit will begin to dwindle by 2024 due to climate change and increased demand, new research has found. […]

  • Biodegradable microbeads made from cellulose
    on June 8, 2017 at 2:24 am

    On World Ocean Day, researchers announce they have developed biodegradable cellulose microbeads from a sustainable source that could potentially replace harmful plastic ones that contribute to ocean pollution. […]

  • Combatting weeds with lasers
    on June 7, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    A robot automatically identifies weeds in a field and combats them with a short laser pulse. Sustainable agriculture, which avoids the use of herbicides as far as possible, could benefit from this smart idea. […]

  • Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts
    on June 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Offshore wind turbines built according to current standards may not be able to withstand the powerful gusts of a Category 5 hurricane, creating potential risk for any such turbines built in hurricane-prone areas, new research shows. […]

  • Decomposing leaves are a surprising source of greenhouse gases
    on June 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Scientists have pinpointed a new source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that's more potent than carbon dioxide. The culprit? Tiny bits of decomposing leaves in soil. […]

  • Splitting carbon dioxide using low-cost catalyst materials
    on June 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    A promising avenue for the future of clean energy is to store it in the form of carbon-based fuels produced from renewable sources, effectively enabling the clean use of liquid fuels such as gasoline. A first step is the electrolysis of carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon monoxide. But current CO-forming catalysts are either not selective enough or too expensive to be industrially viable. Now scientists have developed an Earth-abundant catalyst based on copper-oxide nanowires modified with tin oxide. […]

  • Molecular system for artificial photosynthesis
    on June 2, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    A molecular system for artificial photosynthesis is designed to mimic key functions of the photosynthetic center in green plants -- light absorption, charge separation, and catalysis -- to convert solar energy into chemical energy stored by hydrogen fuel. […]

  • Eco-label in exchange for less chemicals on rice fields
    on June 2, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Money isn't always everything: Taiwanese rice farmers are willing to produce in an environmentally friendly fashion if this would earn them an eco-label. For such a label, they would accept lower compensation payments for a reduction in the use of fertilizers. […]

  • Saving Lives and Money: The Potential of Solar to Replace Coal
    on June 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    By swapping solar photovoltaics for coal, the US could prevent 51,999 premature deaths a year, potentially making as much as $2.5 million for each life saved. A team has calculated US deaths per kilowatt hour per year for coal related to air pollution-related diseases associated with burning coal. […]

  • Big fish in big trouble in Europe
    on June 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Many large fish species, including many of the sharks and rays of Europe, are threatened with extinction. Confirming the findings of previous studies, scientists highlight regional differences in fish stock status in Europe and point to overfishing in the Mediterranean. […]

  • Subsidies promote overfishing and hurt small-scale fishers worldwide
    on June 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Large-scale fisheries receive about four times more subsidies than their small-scale counterparts, with up to 60 per cent of those subsidies promoting overfishing. […]

  • Support for tidal energy is high among Washington residents
    on May 31, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    A new study found that people who believe climate change is a problem and see economic, environmental and/or social benefits to using tidal energy are more likely to support such projects. This is the first US study to look broadly at residents' beliefs and feelings about tidal energy and one of only a few worldwide to take a social science approach to examining this young industry. […]

  • Restored ocean will alleviate poverty, provide jobs, and improve health, finds report
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    With climate change and social inequity addressed, restoring the ocean will help alleviate poverty, provide livelihoods, and improve the health of millions around the world. […]

  • We're on the brink of mass extinction -- but there's still time to pull back
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Imagine being a scuba diver and leaving your air tank behind you on a dive. That's essentially what humans are doing as we expand our footprint on the planet without paying adequate attention to impacts on other living things, according to researchers. Both ominous and hopeful, a new report paints a picture of the value of biodiversity, the threats it faces and the window of opportunity we have to save species before it's too late. […]

  • Unequal income distribution linked to economic value of nature
    on May 31, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Researchers have discovered that the economic value of nature for a society is determined by, among other things, income inequality within the society. […]

  • Nitrogen fixation research could shed light on biological mystery
    on May 30, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Half the world's population depends for its survival on nitrogen fixed by bacteria, but we still don't know how the bacteria do it. New research could solve that mystery while making fertilizer production more sustainable. […]

  • Urban emissions could be cut by seventy per cent
    on May 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    A researcher has developed a mathematical model that determines the optimal conditions for sustainable urban distribution. The model can reduce logistical pressure in cities and make goods transport more sustainable. In some cases, it may be possible to reduce emissions in cities by seventy per cent. […]

  • Congo's miners often resort to hunting wildlife for food, study finds
    on May 26, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Mining for valuable minerals in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a major driving factor in the illegal hunting of great apes and other wildlife for food, a new study has found. Authors of the new report recommend strengthening wildlife-friendly mining regulations and increasing sustainable domestic food sources as solutions against wildlife poaching near mining sites. […]