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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Pond-dwelling powerhouse's genome points to its biofuel potential

Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that's been known to drive people daffy. It's one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it's also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce pharmaceuticals. Now, the genome of Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) has given this miniscule plant's potential as a biofuel source a big boost.

Posted: Feb 19th, 2014

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Solar-induced hybrid fuel cell produces electricity directly from biomass

Researchers have developed a new type of low-temperature fuel cell that directly converts biomass to electricity with assistance from a catalyst activated by solar or thermal energy. The hybrid fuel cell can use a wide variety of biomass sources, including starch, cellulose, lignin - and even switchgrass, powdered wood, algae and waste from poultry processing.

Posted: Feb 18th, 2014

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Archaeologists lend long-term perspective to food security and climate shock

What role does pre-existing vulnerabilities play for people who experience a climate shock? Does it amplify the effects of the climate shock or is effect negligible? Four Arizona State University archaeologists are looking into this as part of an international team examining how people can be most resilient to climate change when it comes to food security.

Posted: Feb 17th, 2014

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Waste from age-old paper industry becomes new source of solid fuel

In today's search for renewable energy sources, researchers are turning to the hi-tech, from solar and hydrogen fuel cells, and the very low-tech. The latest example of a low-tech alternative comes from an age-old industry: paper. A new study reveals a sustainable way to turn the huge amounts of waste from paper production into solid fuel with the added bonus of diverting the sludge from overflowing landfills.

Posted: Feb 12th, 2014

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Flat-pack lens boosts solar power

Micro-machining could be used to create almost flat, Fresnel lenses, that boost the electrical efficiency of solar panels, according to researchers in China.

Posted: Feb 10th, 2014

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Measuring wind turbines remotely

The Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB uses modern information technology to remotely measure the oscillatory pattern over the entire structure of the facility from several hundred meters away.

Posted: Feb 10th, 2014

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Is global warming hiding under water?

Satellite observations of global sea-surface temperature show that a 30-year upward trend has slowed down within the last 15 years. Climate scientists say this is not the end of global warming, but the result of a rearrangement in the energy flow of the climate system and, in particular, how the ocean stores heat.

Posted: Feb 10th, 2014

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