Urine-powered socks: wearable energy that could fuel mobile devices

Scientists make breakthrough with a unique type of alternative energy system. Researchers in the United Kingdom have successfully sent a signal to a PC via a unique pair of socks embedded with miniaturized microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that are fuelled with urine pumped by the wearer’s footsteps. According to a press release from the University of the West of England, the scientists’ success marked the first self-sufficient system fueled by a wearable energy generator based on MFC technology. MFC technology can use any form of organic waste and convert it…

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Biofuel may be produced from roadside weed

Researchers from Nevada think they may be able to produce diesel fuel from gumweed. Nevada scientists believe that curlycup gumweed, a common roadside weed that grows across much of Nevada’s high desert, may be ideal for producing biofuel. More specifically, the researchers think that they are close to producing diesel fuel and may even one day be able to produce jet fuel from the plant, reported the Associated Press. Very little water is needed to grow gumweed. Back in the 1980’s, a University of Nevada researcher and mining engineer, Darrell…

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New research reveals fracking may affect male fertility

Exposure to chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing has been connected to reduced sperm count in adult male mice. Hydrualic fracturing, the controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique, more commonly referred to as fracking, has been linked to several negative effects including earthquakes, water contamination, health problems and, most recently, premature births. Now, new research conducted on mice has shown that chemicals used in the fracking process can damage the reproductive health of male mice, by potentially causing lowering sperm count, larger testicles, and higher levels of testosterone. The researchers…

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Scientists develop green technology from harmful algal blooms

Harmful algal blooms can be used as high-performance and low-cost electrodes for Na-ion batteries. A team of researchers, led by environmental engineer Dr. Da Deng at Wayne State University in Detroit, have discovered that harmful algal blooms (HABs) can be converted into high-performance electrodes for sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries. This green technology discovery is good news because, according to Deng, electrodes for Na-ion batteries have the potential to replace lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The researchers have found a good use for an otherwise highly harmful substance. The researchers published a paper regarding…

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New battery technology could be cost-effective renewable energy storage solution

Clean energy storage may have gotten greener and cheaper. A research paper published in the journal Science reveals that a team of Harvard researchers have developed an innovative battery technology by removing toxins from a flow battery, which they claim can store renewable energy in a safe, non-flammable, non-toxic, and cheap way. An eco-friendly flow battery could be important to the future. Energy and resource issues are a growing problem that many, including members of the Harvard research team, believe will only become worse in the coming years. However, the…

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Chemical engineer creates zero-waste cleaning solution for biogas

The waste generated by renewable gas production can be transformed into fertilizer. Andrew White, a Canadian chemical engineer, has developed a product that he calls the SulfaCHAR system, which can convert the waste that results from producing biogas into fertilizer. According to White, his SulfaChar system removes chemical waste from the biogas process, which stops gas engines from becoming ruined by hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and also boosts a renewable gas facility’s profitability, reported Reuters. The decomposition process of the clean gas produces not so clean waste. While biogas can help…

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PCS Giant King Grass biofuel could replace coal

PCS Biofules Inc. has converted Giant King Grass into environmentally friendly coal replacement. By using its patented Polymer Carbon Solid (PCS) thermal catalytic process, PCS Biofules Inc., the Vancouver, Canada-based company, has successfully transformed Giant King Grass into a high-energy, carbon neutral, “drop-in” replacement for coal. This breakthrough was announced by California-based clean energy company, VIASPACE Inc., reported PennEnergy. The hybrid grass is considered to be the new biomass for green energy. Giant King Grass is a type of fast growing, high yield, and very tall hybrid grass. It can…

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Solar technology breakthrough results in cheap hydrogen fuel production

New solar panel design makes cheaper clean-burning hydrogen fuel. Swiss scientists have announced that they have made a clean energy breakthrough with solar technology, involving traditional solar panels that can be utilized to produce an electrical current that splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which, in short, means that these scientists have developed a simple and non-traditional method to create cheap clean-burning hydrogen fuel from solar panels. The green discovery could lower fossil fuel dependence and combat climate change. By splitting water molecules to create hydrogen, this enables the…

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Rare-earth magnets recycling process simplified

The new process to recycle rare-earth magnets could make the electronic industry more sustainable. American researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new recycling process, which focuses on reprocessing two types of rare earth metals, neodymium and dysprosium, which are commonly used as magnets in a variety of electronic devices, and are both equally difficult to find in nature and can only be extracted via a complex method that is also damaging to the environment. The new reprocessing method is surprisingly uncomplicated. According to Engineering and Technology Magazine,…

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Scientists use green technology to develop new biodegradable computer chips

A semiconductor chip made mostly from wood may help make electric devices greener. A new type of green technology has been developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by scientists who have created a wood-based biodegradable computer chip that may help to reduce the amount of e-waste that is created by the growing number of discard portable electronic devices, which are currently primarily made from materials that are non-biodegradable, non-renewable, and potentially toxic. Computer chips could be as safe for the environment as fertilizer. According to Science Daily, the team of…

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Bladeless wind generator could be the next big thing for wind energy

An innovative company wants to change how energy is generated from wind. Spanish tech startup Vortex Bladeless is taking a new wind energy generation approach and, instead of using wind turbines with rotating blades, the company has reinvented the standard wind turbine model, creating Vortex, which is essentially a tall mast that looks somewhat like the pole of a standard turbine without the blades. According to the company’s official website, Vortex will be more environmentally friendly, more cost effective, and a more efficient way to produce energy compared to current…

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New prototype could be a boon for fuel cell technology

Trenergi makes a major breakthrough in fuel cell technology with its new energy system Trenergi, a developer of hydrogen fuel cell technology, has demonstrated its new fuel cell prototype to investors. The prototype system produces 1 kilowatt of electrical power and features a design that is quite unlike conventional fuel cells. Trenergi suggests that the new fuel cell is capable of producing electrical power in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner from most forms of existing fuels. The fuel cell, like its conventional counterparts, also producing heat. New fuel cell…

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New research may improve production of biofuels

Scientists have discovered a way to boost the production of fuels and other renewable chemicals. According to news from Berkley Lab, researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have discovered a way to use biomass fermented by yeast to enhance the production of biofuels and renewable chemicals, without having to rely on costly enzyme cocktails or pre-treatments that are hard on the environment. The researchers believe that they can engineer biofuel-producing yeast. The researches with EBI, which is a partnership between Berkeley Lab and the University of California Berkeley, made…

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Batteries could be improved to make electric vehicles cheaper

An old type of battery may store far more energy and be less expensive than current lithium-ion EV batteries. Manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs), and those interested in producing these green cars, are always hoping for improvements to be made to lithium-ion batteries, which power these vehicles, in order to extend the battery’s driving range and make it cheaper. However, Scientists from chemical company BASF are currently investigating an older type of battery that is showing promise where present lithium-ion batteries are not. The basic type of battery currently used…

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Solar energy generated in space could be the renewable power of the future

Space-based solar power could become the most powerful energy source. While the idea of a solar energy station in space is not a new concept, unlike the past, when it was more of a concept that only seemed possible in a science fiction novel, today, the idea of building a solar power station in space, that could harvest non-stop continual power, is becoming an idea that scientists may actually be able to make possible, CNN reported. No clouds or night exists in space to inhibit sunlight. Space is absent of…

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Scientists make energy storage breakthrough

Rice University scientists make molybdenum disulfide discovery. A research team from Rice University has managed to transform the two dimensional form of molybdenum disulfide into a nanoporous film that can be used for energy storage or can catalyze hydrogen production. Developing flexible films of the material could be cost-effective for fuel cells. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is a semiconductor that is made up of a layer of sulfur atoms that are situated between two layers of molybdenum, a brittle transition metal. From above, the material looks like graphene, but when turned…

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