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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 8

Oct 15, 2020

Solar power is now ‘lowest cost electricity ever seen’

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Oct 15, 2020

Turning Diamond Into Metal – For Improved Solar Cells, LEDs, and Power Electronics

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Normally an insulator, diamond becomes a metallic conductor when subjected to large strain in a new theoretical model.

Long known as the hardest of all natural materials, diamonds are also exceptional thermal conductors and electrical insulators. Now, researchers have discovered a way to tweak tiny needles of diamond in a controlled way to transform their electronic properties, dialing them from insulating, through semiconducting, all the way to highly conductive, or metallic. This can be induced dynamically and reversed at will, with no degradation of the diamond material.

The research, though still at an early proof-of-concept stage, may open up a wide array of potential applications, including new kinds of broadband solar cells, highly efficient LEDs and power electronics, and new optical devices or quantum sensors, the researchers say.

Continue reading “Turning Diamond Into Metal – For Improved Solar Cells, LEDs, and Power Electronics” »

Oct 15, 2020

Researchers first to develop an organic battery

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Are organic batteries coming?


Researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, have for the first time demonstrated an organic battery. It is of a type known as a ‘redox flow battery,” with a large capacity that can be used to store energy from wind turbines and solar cells, and as a power bank for cars.

Redox flow batteries are stationary batteries in which the is located in the electrolyte, outside of the cell itself, as in a fuel cell. They are often marketed with the prefix ‘eco,” since they open the possibility of storing from, for example, the sun and wind. Further, it appears to be possible to recharge them an unlimited number of times. However, redox flow batteries often contain vanadium, a scarce and expensive metal. The electrolyte in which energy is stored in a redox flow battery can be water-based, which makes the battery safe to use, but results in a lower energy density.

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Oct 14, 2020

Alphabet’s New Moonshot Is to Transform How We Grow Food

Posted by in categories: food, genetics, solar power, sustainability

Mineral’s plant buggy looks like a platform on wheels, topped with solar panels and stuffed with cameras, sensors, and software.


But maybe there’s a better way—and Mineral wants to find it.

Like many things nowadays, the key to building something better is data. Genetic data, weather pattern data, soil composition and erosion data, satellite data… The list goes on. As part of the massive data-gathering that will need to be done, X introduced what it’s calling a “plant buggy” (if the term makes you picture a sort of baby stroller for plants, you’re not alone…).

Continue reading “Alphabet’s New Moonshot Is to Transform How We Grow Food” »

Oct 14, 2020

Solar-powered system extracts drinkable water from “dry” air

Posted by in categories: engineering, sustainability

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have significantly boosted the output from a system that can extract drinkable water directly from the air even in dry regions, using heat from the sun or another source.

The system, which builds on a design initially developed three years ago at MIT by members of the same team, brings the process closer to something that could become a practical water source for remote regions with limited access to water and electricity. The findings are described today in the journal Joule, in a paper by Professor Evelyn Wang, who is head of MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering; graduate student Alina LaPotin; and six others at MIT and in Korea and Utah.

The earlier device demonstrated by Wang and her co-workers provided a proof of concept for the system, which harnesses a temperature difference within the device to allow an adsorbent material — which collects liquid on its surface — to draw in moisture from the air at night and release it the next day. When the material is heated by sunlight, the difference in temperature between the heated top and the shaded underside makes the water release back out of the adsorbent material. The water then gets condensed on a collection plate.

Oct 14, 2020

Disney World McDonald’s to be first net-zero fast food restaurant

Posted by in categories: food, solar power, sustainability

Sustainability comes to the happiest place on Earth! Solar power helps make this Disney World McDonald’s one of the first net-zero fast food restaurants.

Oct 14, 2020

A Small Electric Car Made of Recycled Trash

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Collectively, we produce 2.1 billion tons of waste per year, or as a group of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) would explain it, we produce the same amount as “the PSV Eindhoven football stadium filled 7380 times to the roof.”

Oct 14, 2020

Seaweed may be the solution to our plastic crisis. A London startup is making edible packaging out of it

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

Edible packaging from sea weed. 😃


The plastic-like seaweed packaging made by Notpla is biodegradable within six weeks, compared to hundreds of years for synthetic plastics.

Continue reading “Seaweed may be the solution to our plastic crisis. A London startup is making edible packaging out of it” »

Oct 14, 2020

Energy recycling heats up

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

Circa 2016


Scientists have developed a novel system that recovers energy normally lost in industrial processes.

Each year, energy that equates to billions of barrels of oil is wasted as heat lost from machines and industrial processes. Recovering this energy could reduce energy costs. Scientists from Australia and Malaysia have developed a novel system that is designed to maximize such recovery.

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Oct 14, 2020

This giant tower is an enormous battery for renewable energy

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Power tower.

📕

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