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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category

Aug 19, 2018

Renewable resort: Greek island to run on wind, solar power

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The innovative 800-kilowatt wind turbine is an effort to protect the environment and attract tourism.


TILOS, Greece (AP) — When the blades of its 800-kilowatt wind turbine start turning, the small Greek island of Tilos will become the first in the Mediterranean to run exclusively on wind and solar power.

The sea horse-shaped Greek island between Rhodes and Kos has a winter population of 400. But that swells to as many as 3,000 people in the summer, putting an impossible strain on its dilapidated power supply.

This summer, technicians are conducting the final tests on a renewable replacement system that will be fully rolled out later this year. It will allow Tilos to run exclusively on high-tech batteries recharged by a wind turbine and a solar park.

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Aug 18, 2018

Making aquafeed more sustainable: Scientists develop feeds using a marine microalga co-product

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, sustainability

Dartmouth scientists have created a more sustainable feed for aquaculture by using a marine microalga co-product as a feed ingredient. The study is the first of its kind to evaluate replacing fishmeal with a co-product in feed designed specifically for Nile tilapia. The results are published in the open access journal, PLOS ONE.

Aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing food sector, surpassing the global capture fisheries production in 2014. It provides more than 50 percent of the food supply to humans; however, it poses several environmental concerns. Aquaculture feed (aquafeeds) draws on 70 percent of the world’s and , which is obtained from small, ocean-caught fish such as anchovies, sardines, herring, menhaden, and mackerel¬, that are essential to the lower end of the . Analysts project that by 2040, the demand for fishmeal and fish oil will exceed supply. Aquafeeds also draw on large amounts of soy and corn from industrial farms, which pose other environmental concerns due to the use of fertilizers and potential runoff into rivers, lakes and coastal waters. In addition, aquafeeds may trigger nutrient pollution in aquaculture effluent, as fish are unable to fully digest soy and corn, which are major feed ingredients.

To address the environmental sustainability concerns regarding aquafeed, a Dartmouth team has been developing sustainable feeds for Nile tilapia, which examine the effectiveness of replacing fishmeal and fish oil with different types of marine microalgae. Marine microalgae are excellent sources of , minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, and can therefore, meet the nutrient requirements of fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining fish health; they also have neurological, cardiovascular and anti-cancer benefits to humans.

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Aug 18, 2018

High-efficiency large-area perovskite photovoltaic modules achieved via electrochemically assembled metal-filamentary nanoelectrodes

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Realizing industrial-scale, large-area photovoltaic modules without any considerable performance losses compared with the performance of laboratory-scale, small-area perovskite solar cells (PSCs) has been a challenge for practical applications of PSCs. Highly sophisticated patterning processes for achieving series connections, typically fabricated using printing or laser-scribing techniques, cause unexpected efficiency drops and require complicated manufacturing processes. We successfully fabricated high-efficiency, large-area PSC modules using a new electrochemical patterning process. The intrinsic ion-conducting features of perovskites enabled us to create metal-filamentary nanoelectrodes to facilitate the monolithic serial interconnections of PSC modules. By fabricating planar-type PSC modules through low-temperature annealing and all-solution processing, we demonstrated a notably high module efficiency of 14.0% for a total area of 9.06 cm with a high geometric fill factor of 94.1%.

The unprecedented features of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite semiconductors, which allow low-temperature crystal film growth from their precursor solutions, have greatly promoted both scientific and technological revolutions in a wide range of fields within electronics (1, 2). The advent of organolead trihalide perovskite semiconductors as light harvesters has resulted in the fastest-advancing solar technology to date, with an extremely rapid rise in power conversion efficiency (PCE) from 3.8 to 22.1% over just a few years (3–6). In addition to recent remarkable breakthroughs in addressing the instability of these devices, which has been considered the greatest challenge toward commercialization due to their intrinsic properties vulnerable to oxygen and moisture, pioneering researchers have begun fabricating large-area devices for their ultimate application (7–16).

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Aug 18, 2018

Scientists create battery that refuels electric cars in seconds

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Scottish scientists have developed a liquid battery which could charge electric cars in seconds.

A team at the University of Glasgow has created a prototype system that could revolutionise travel.

The technology uses a metal oxide — described by researchers as an “exotic rust” — that can be charged with electricity when added to water.

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Aug 17, 2018

Global study shows environmentally friendly farming can increase productivity

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

A major new study involving researchers from the University of York has measured a global shift towards more sustainable agricultural systems that provide environmental improvements at the same time as increases in food production.

The study shows that the sustainable intensification of agriculture, a term that was once considered paradoxical, delivers considerable benefits to both farmers and the environment.

The study, published in the leading journal Nature Sustainability, involved researchers from 17 universities and research institutes in the UK, USA, Sweden, Ethiopia and New Zealand.

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Aug 17, 2018

The plastic waste crisis is an opportunity for the U.S. to get serious about recycling at home

Posted by in categories: food, health, policy, sustainability

A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called “National Sword” policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the United States.

In response, support is growing nationally and worldwide for banning or restricting single-use consumer plastics, such as straws and grocery bags. These efforts are also spurred by chilling findings about how micro-plastics travel through oceans and waterways and up the food chain.

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Aug 16, 2018

A filter that turns saltwater into freshwater just got an upgrade

Posted by in categories: materials, sustainability

Smoothing out a material used in desalination filters could help combat worldwide water shortages.

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Aug 16, 2018

Global Renewable power spending has been virtually flat for seven years and most countries will need expensive grid upgrades to handle more solar and wind

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Global investment in renewable energy (Solar, Wind, Hydro and biofuel) edged up 2% in 2017 to $279.8 billion, taking cumulative investment since 2010 to $2.2 trillion. The level of global renewable power spending has been virtually flat for seven years. There has been an increase in overall installed renewable power each year because of the dropping prices. A 2% increase in spending has resulted in 10% increase in global installations from 2016 to 2017.

A record 157 gigawatts of renewable power capacity was commissioned in 2017, up from 143GW in 2016. This was more than the 70GW of net fossil fuel generating capacity added last year. However, the installed fossil fuel power generates more kilowatt hours because of the low capacity factors of solar and wind power.

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Aug 16, 2018

Human wastewater valuable to global agriculture, economics, study finds

Posted by in categories: economics, engineering, food, sustainability

It may seem off-putting to some, but human waste is full of nutrients that can be recycled into valuable products that could promote agricultural sustainability and better economic independence for some developing countries.

Cities produce and must manage huge quantities of . Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a model to clarify what parts of the world may benefit most from re-circulation of human-waste-derived nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus from cities and back into farm fields. They report their findings in the journal Nature Sustainability.

“We grow our in the field, apply nutrient-rich fertilizers, eat the crops, excrete all of the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and then those nutrients end up at the ,” said Jeremy Guest, a civil and environmental engineering professor and study co-author. “It is a very linear, one-directional flow of resources. Engineering a more circular nutrient cycle would create opportunities that could benefit the environment, economy and agriculture.”

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Aug 16, 2018

In race for better batteries, Japan hopes to extend its lead

Posted by in categories: computing, sustainability, transportation

TOKYO — Imagine electric cars that can travel 700km to 800km on a single charge, twice as far as they do today. Imagine batteries that are smaller, safer and pack more punch than the lithium-ion cells that power our gadgets now.

Such is the promise of solid-state batteries. Capable of holding more electricity and recharging more quickly than their lithium-ion counterparts, they could do to lithium-ion power cells what transistors did to vacuum tubes: render them obsolete.

As their name implies, solid-state batteries use solid rather than liquid materials as an electrolyte. That is the stuff through which ions pass as they move between the poles of a battery as it is charged and discharged. Because they do not leak or give off flammable vapor, as lithium-ion batteries are prone to, solid-state batteries are safer. They are also more energy-dense and thus more compact.

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