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The latest news about environmental and green
technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Spinach could lead to alternative energy more powerful than Popeye

Spinach gave Popeye super strength, but it also holds the promise of a different power for a group of scientists: the ability to convert sunlight into a clean, efficient alternative fuel. Physicists are using spinach to study the proteins involved in photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert the sun's energy into carbohydrates used to power cellular processes. Artificial photosynthesis could allow for the conversion of solar energy into renewable, environmentally friendly hydrogen-based fuels.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2014

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A village with CO2-neutral buildings is possible

No fossil fuels used for heating or hot water in an entire village - that is the ambitious goal of the Zernez Energia 2020 research project. ETH scientists have studied the feasibility of the project and are presenting the initial findings in an exhibition.

Posted: Jul 22nd, 2014

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Researchers simplify process to purify water using seed extracts

Researchers have streamlined and simplified a process that uses extracts from seeds of Moringa oleifa trees to purify water, reducing levels of harmful bacteria by 90 percent to 99 percent. The hardy trees that are drought resistant are cultivated widely throughout many countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Posted: Jul 21st, 2014

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Global ranking for energy efficiency: U.S. near bottom, Germany at top

Germany comes in first in a new energy efficiency ranking of the world's major economies, followed by Italy, the European Union as a whole, China, and France, according to the 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Posted: Jul 21st, 2014

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Pumping efficiency into electrical motors

Researchers are using new magnetic materials to develop revolutionary electrical motors and generators which promise significant energy savings. They have used the new motors to develop patented highly efficient water pump systems with potential widespread application.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2014

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More energy from a liter of biofuel

Oil produced from biomass - such as wood chips or plant residues - seldom has the same quality and energy content as 'classical' crude oil. A new, simple catalyst improves the quality of this oil before it is even transported to the refinery.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2014

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Map reveals worldwide impacts of climate change

Scientists from the University of Southampton have helped to create a new map, which shows the impact climate change could have on the whole planet by the end of the century, if carbon emissions continue to increase.

Posted: Jul 17th, 2014

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Are ants the answer to carbon dioxide sequestration?

A 25-year-long study provides the first quantitative measurement of in situ calcium-magnesium silicate mineral dissolution by ants, termites, tree roots, and bare ground. This study reveals that ants are one of the most powerful biological agents of mineral decay yet observed. It may be that an understanding of the geobiology of ant-mineral interactions might offer a line of research on how to 'geoengineer' accelerated carbon dioxide consumption by calcium-magnesium silicates.

Posted: Jul 17th, 2014

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Improving the cost and efficiency of renewable energy storage

Scientists have developed a method for improving the catalysis of water-splitting reactions used for storing wind and solar energy. The method chemically peels off the outermost surface of a catalyst, thereby maximizing its active surface for the reaction.

Posted: Jul 17th, 2014

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