Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 434

Oct 27, 2016

New soap is cleaner and greener

Posted by in category: sustainability

Something needed to replace antibacterial soaps.

Whether they’re hand soap, shampoo, dish-washing liquid or laundry detergent, the majority of commonly-used soaps contain petroleum-based cleansing agents. Obtaining that petroleum isn’t exactly an eco-friendly process, plus it becomes a source of pollution once it goes down the drain. While there are petroleum-free soaps out there, they often don’t perform that well. Now, however, scientists have developed one that is claimed to actually work better than mainstream products.

The new soap was developed by a consortium led by the University of Minnesota. It combines renewable biodegradable ingredients such as fatty acids from soybeans or coconut, along with sugar from corn, to form a soap molecule known as oleo-furan-surfactant (OFS).

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Oct 26, 2016

Play the PC game Elon Musk wrote as a pre-teen

Posted by in categories: alien life, Elon Musk, internet, military, space travel, sustainability

Elon Musk is obsessed with space. At age 30, he founded SpaceX. At age 41, he oversaw the first cargo mission to the International Space Station by a private company. And at age 12, as a kid living in South Africa, he made a space-themed PC game called Blastar. Now, thanks to the power of the internet, you can play that game.

Musk sold the code for Blastar for $500 to the magazine PC and Office Technology, and a reproduction of the page it appeared on was published in Ashlee Vance’s biography Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. From there, Tomas Lloret Llinares — a software engineer at Google — took the code and rebuilt the game to work in HTML5.

Your mission, as the game’s lonely space pilot, is to “destroy [the] alien freighter carrying deadly hydrogen bombs and status beam machines.” Blastar is mostly a mix of Space Invaders and Asteroid, though it’s much more basic. There is never more than two ships on the screen, there are few sound effects, and — like many games of its time — it really has no ending. It’s almost unimpressive; that is, until you remember that it was made by a 12-year-old in 1984.

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Oct 25, 2016

Watch a student-designed Hyperloop pod LEVITATE for the first time

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

The future of travel is here: Watch a Hyperloop pod designed by students LEVITATE for the first time…

A team of more than 60 students from the University of Cincinnati came up with the prototype as part of Tesla boss Elon Musk’s Hyperloop design competition.

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Oct 22, 2016

This brilliant 13-year-old figured out how to make clean energy using a device that costs $5

Posted by in categories: education, solar power, sustainability

Maanasa Mendu thinks she’s cracked the code on how to make wind and solar energy affordable.

On Tuesday, Mendu, a 13-year-old from Ohio, won the grand prize in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work in creating a cost-effective “solar leaves” design to create energy. In addition to winning the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” she gets $25,000 for her achievement.

The leaves, designed to help developing areas in need of cheaper power sources, cost roughly $5 to make.

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Oct 21, 2016

Scientists Accidentally Found a Great New Way to Convert CO2 into Ethanol

Posted by in category: sustainability

Some of the greatest discoveries in history were found by accident. This could be one of them.

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Oct 20, 2016

Safe new storage method could be key to future of hydrogen-powered vehicles

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Hydrogen is often described as the fuel of the future, particularly when applied to hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. One of the main obstacles facing this technology — a potential solution to future sustainable transport — has been the lack of a lightweight, safe on-board hydrogen storage material.

A major new discovery by scientists at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Cardiff in the UK, and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia, has shown that hydrocarbon wax rapidly releases large amounts of hydrogen when activated with catalysts and microwaves.

This discovery of a potential safe storage method, reported in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, could pave the way for widespread adoption of hydrogen-fuelled cars.

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Oct 20, 2016

New perovskite solar cell design could outperform existing commercial technologies

Posted by in categories: engineering, solar power, sustainability

A new design for solar cells that uses inexpensive, commonly available materials could rival and even outperform conventional cells made of silicon.

Writing in the Oct. 21 edition of Science, researchers from Stanford and Oxford describe using tin and other abundant elements to create novel forms of perovskite — a photovoltaic crystalline material that’s thinner, more flexible and easier to manufacture than silicon crystals.

“Perovskite semiconductors have shown great promise for making high-efficiency solar cells at low cost,” said study co-author Michael McGehee, a professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford. “We have designed a robust, all-perovskite device that converts sunlight into electricity with an efficiency of 20.3 percent, a rate comparable to silicon solar cells on the market today.”

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Oct 19, 2016

Scientists Accidentally Discover Method to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

The new method could play a key role in helping scientists take carbon dioxide out of the air to fight climate change.

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Oct 18, 2016

Nanotech Wafer Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, sustainability

Technique to create alcohol from thin air has applications in renewable energy.

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Oct 18, 2016

Researchers accidentally turn carbon dioxide into ethanol

Posted by in category: sustainability

They basically put a genie back in its bottle.

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