Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Oct 18, 2016

Researchers accidentally turn carbon dioxide into ethanol

Posted by in category: sustainability

They basically put a genie back in its bottle.

Oct 18, 2016

Thousands of ‘scrotum frogs’ mysteriously dying

Posted by in category: sustainability

I’m no biologist, but from what I understand frogs are kind of like the canary in the coal mine: They breath with their skin, thus environmental disasters will effect them first. So very, very not good.

Peruvian authorities want to know why more than 10,000 endangered frogs living near Lake Titicaca have suddenly died.

The Titicaca Water Frog is considered a “critically endangered” species, according to conservation groups. The giant amphibians, which can weigh more than two pounds, have excessive skin folds that have earned the species a rather wrinkly nickname: scrotum frog.

Oct 17, 2016

How quantum effects could improve artificial intelligence

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, quantum physics, robotics/AI, sustainability

(—Over the past few decades, quantum effects have greatly improved many areas of information science, including computing, cryptography, and secure communication. More recently, research has suggested that quantum effects could offer similar advantages for the emerging field of quantum machine learning (a subfield of artificial intelligence), leading to more intelligent machines that learn quickly and efficiently by interacting with their environments.

In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, Vedran Dunjko and coauthors have added to this research, showing that quantum effects can likely offer significant benefits to .

“The progress in machine learning critically relies on processing power,” Dunjko, a physicist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, told “Moreover, the type of underlying information processing that many aspects of machine learning rely upon is particularly amenable to quantum enhancements. As quantum technologies emerge, quantum machine learning will play an instrumental role in our society—including deepening our understanding of climate change, assisting in the development of new medicine and therapies, and also in settings relying on learning through interaction, which is vital in automated cars and smart factories.”

Oct 16, 2016

Saudi Commentator Praises Israel; Latest Sign of Warming Ties Between Jewish and Arab States

Posted by in categories: economics, security, sustainability

Could technology build friendships for Israel across the Middle East?

Israel and Saudi Arabia should form a “collaborative alliance” to become the “twin pillars of regional stability” in the Middle East, a top Saudi lobbyist wrote in The Hill on Tuesday, in what is the latest sign of warming and increasingly-public ties between Arab countries and the Jewish state.

Salman al-Ansari, the founder and president of the Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee, asserted that Israel can assist Saudi Arabia in implementing its Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s blueprint to diversify its economy. Al-Ansari specifically mentioned Israel’s expertise in mining and water technology, which makes Israel “extraordinarily qualified to help Saudi Arabia with its ambitious desalination plans.”

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