New Carbon-Free Steel Production Method is Cleaner, Cheaper, More Efficient

SteelPoolAfterElectrolysis

Steel is such an important material in our modern world, but making it also produces quite a bit of greenhouse gases (an estimated 5% of the world’s total GHG emissions), as well as consuming copious amounts of energy. But that may change, as news of a new steel making method developed at MIT hints at cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient steel production in the future. Currently, for each ton of steel produced from iron ore, almost two tons of CO2 emissions are generated, so reducing that figure would be a big step in the right direction. The new method goes… read more

Could This Be The Answer to a Paperless Society?

A paperless society?

Paper use on a global scale is enormous. We have no one to blame but ourselves as many daily transactions still require paperwork despite technological advances towards a paperless society. In an effort to preserve forests and the environment, Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) have unveiled a promising and cutting edge “rewritable electronic paper”. The interesting part about this e-paper is that it can retain information written upon it without using electricity and it is designed to replace paper products that only have a limited lifespan such as tickets or daily office papers, thus saving on waste and energy. This phenomenal project… read more

Smart Glass: Not Just For Windows

Smart Glass: Not Just For Windows

Over the past few years, glass used for windows has become increasingly more energy efficient due to new techniques and designs. Traditionally made windows can lose up to 30% of a home’s energy and cause heat fluctuations. Smart glasses are one innovative update in the window design world that considerably increases energy efficacy. Researchers have found that thinly coating vanadium dioxide nanoparticles with a specialized film helps windows function at a heightened level, therefore increasing energy saving capabilities. Applied to films and the materials used to make glass, smart glasses like BioGlass use this application. Glass for windows has customarily… read more

Power Your Building With ‘Smart Windows’

Smart powered windows

With steep increases in the price of electricity a reality,  and ongoing concern about carbon emissions many homeowners around the globe have started to think about using solar power to keep their household costs down. People living in stand alone houses are able to use rooftop solar panels to generate their own power but what about people living in apartments? One solution may be to install “smart” windows. These are in development and integrate solar panel technology into window glass allowing you to power your house. UCLA’s Material Science and Engineering Department has come up with a solar cell made of polymer…. read more

Germ-Zapping Robot Keeps Hospitals Safe

Keeping hospitals safe

Since its introduction, Mark Stibich’s disinfecting robot  has been earning comparisons to R2-D2, to which it vaguely resembles. But that wouldn’t be doing the wheel-clad bot justice. These robots, which are appropriately given names like “Violet” and “Ray”, keep hospitals safe from microscopic minions by smiting them with ultra-violet rays. Robots are operated  with the use of a remote. Upon command, UV light,  which is created as electricity is run through xenon gas, flashes for 5 to 10 minutes as the robot rotates it’s “head” to scan the room. The robots can effectively wipe out hospital-acquired infections, the leading cause… read more

Plant Seed Pills in an Interactive Mars Garden

astrogarden

For those of you who try to grow some of your own food, you know how difficult it can be sometimes to overcome challenges such as early or late frosts, a drought, or hungry wildlife. But we learn as we go and we try harder (or try different tactics), and we find that those challenges, while daunting, can be met successfully. And much of that success can be chalked up to the fact that most of what we’re doing is enabling the plants that live in our world to do what they do best, in their natural environment. Now imagine… read more

The Bionic Knee – Powering More Than You Think

powerwalk

Bionic Power, a technology company in British Columbia, has developed a knee brace that allows you to possess energy-generating powers. It comes in the form of a biochemical energy harvester, called the PowerWalk. Whilst walking, whenever you brake, and your knees buckle, you have the potential for generative braking. The PowerWalk knee brace has the ability to capture this motion, allowing you harvest the energy generated from the bending and locking of your knees whenever you wear it. Each PowerWalk knee brace weighs 1.7 pounds, and  generates around 12 watts of energy at the average walking speed. Kept steadily, you… read more

Moving Forward in the Teleportation Industry

Teleportation industry

While current technology is years behind future realities presented by TV shows like Star Trek and Stargate, researchers are making serious headway in bringing teleportation mechanics to the 21st century. A relatively new method called Quantum Teleportation has taken the scientific field by storm. The technique has been described as particles existing in one place, and then existing somewhere else instead. On the outside, it doesn’t get much simpler than that. But the specifics are quite complex, and much is still beyond modern science’s understanding. The current teleportation record is 89 miles, set by The Institute for Quantum Optics and… read more

Researchers Develop System for Efficiently Harvesting Seaweed for Biomass

seaweedbeach

On some beaches, regularly removing seaweed is a necessity to keep the area clean and tidy for users, but the methods currently used are not very efficient or environmentally friendly. However, a research group at the University of Alicante in Spain has come up with a system that not only removes the seaweed efficiently, but can also process it right on the beach, which could be a big step toward treating this resource as biomass for energy production and other uses. The recently patented process puts the seaweed through several steps, including washing, drying, and compacting the material, right on… read more

New Green Packaging is 100% Recyclable and Carbon-Positive

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If we’re going to get a handle on dealing with the huge amounts of plastics and other materials that make up product and materials packaging, we need some greener alternatives, and one UK company believes they have one of the solutions. The company, Polythene UK, is offering a bio-based product called Polyair, which they say is not only 100% recyclable, but is also “carbon positive”, and when included in films at just 60%, is capable of offsetting the CO2 emissions of the product, even after accounting for the energy consumed in shipping and manufacturing. In fact, the company’s managing director,… read more