Current Environmental Engineering News and Events

Current Environmental Engineering News and Events, Environmental Engineering News Articles.
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Can bacteria make stronger cars, airplanes and armor?
Biological systems can harness their living cells for growth and regeneration, but engineering systems cannot. Until now.Researchers are harnessing living bacteria to create engineering materials that are strong, tolerant, and resilient. (2021-02-22)

Should Uber and Lyft be electrifying more vehicles?
Increases in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions caused by ridesourcing impact human health and the environment--what happens when companies shoulder that cost? (2021-02-19)

Researchers have proved that that ozone is effective in disinfecting Coronavirus
It is possible to destroy the virus within minutes by gaseous ozone, which can be produced synthetically indoors. The advantage of gaseous ozone over liquid disinfectants (such as alcohol and bleach) is its ability to treat entire rooms, including all objects found in it and hard-to-reach locations. (2021-02-17)

Origami powered by light
Some man-made materials can mimic plants' slow but steady reaction to light energy, usually triggered by lasers or focused ambient light. New research from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has discovered a way to speed up this effect enough that its performance can compete against electrical and pneumatic systems. (2021-02-10)

Long-term environmental damage from transportation projects in Kenya, scientists warn
The construction of a major railway through Kenya will have long-term environmental impacts on the area, suggesting more work needs to be done to limit the damage on future infrastructure projects, a major study reveals. (2021-02-09)

Study reveals gender imbalance in scholarly submissions during pandemic
A study conducted by Michelle Bell, Mary E. Pinchot Professor of Environmental Health at the Yale School of the Environment (YSE), and postdoctoral associate Kelvin C. Fong found the rate of manuscript submission to a major peer-reviewed journal (American Journal of Public Health) were higher during the pandemic -- but also revealed a concerning imbalance in submissions by gender. (2021-02-03)

What the Biden-Harris administration means for chemistry
The inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris marks a new era for science policy in the U.S. and beyond. The new administration has inherited a global pandemic and worsening climate change, among other science-related issues. A cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, delves into what this means for chemists and chemistry as a whole. (2021-02-03)

Recycling face masks into roads to tackle COVID-generated waste
Researchers have developed a new road-making material that mixes shredded single-use face masks with processed building rubble. Their analysis shows making just 1km of a 2-lane road with the material would enable 3 million face masks to be recycled and kept out of landfill. (2021-02-02)

Your toothbrush reflects you, not your toilet
After studying microbial communities living on bristles from used toothbrushes, Northwestern University researchers found those communities matched microbes commonly found inside the mouth and on skin. (2021-02-01)

Virtual conference CO2 emissions quantified in new study
The virtual conferencing that has replaced large, in-person gatherings in the age of COVID-19 represents a drastic reduction in carbon emissions, but those online meetings still come with their own environmental costs, new research from the University of Michigan shows. (2021-02-01)

Even machines need their greens
Image that products could be strengthened with the same living materials that provide nutrients to strengthen trees. Professor Qiming Wang's research lab is one of the first to infuse 3-D printer ink with living material. The material has potential for greater strength, to be flexible and self-heal. (2021-01-27)

Methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells underestimated
A recent McGill study published in Environmental Science and Technology finds that annual methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas (AOG) wells in Canada and the US have been greatly underestimated - by as much as 150% in Canada, and by 20% in the US. Indeed, the research suggests that methane gas emissions from AOG wells are currently the 10th and 11th largest sources of anthropogenic methane emission in the US and Canada, respectively. (2021-01-19)

UCI researchers: Climate change will alter the position of the Earth's tropical rain belt
In a study to be published Jan. 18 in Nature Climate Change, researchers at the University of California, Irvine describe future changes to the tropical rain belt with expected climate change. The changes will cause droughts in large sections of the globe, threatening biodiversity and food security. (2021-01-18)

New tool removes chemotherapy drugs from water systems
'What goes in, must come out' is a familiar refrain. It is especially pertinent to the challenges facing UBC researchers who are investigating methods to remove chemicals and pharmaceuticals from public water systems. Cleaning products, organic dyes and pharmaceuticals are finding their ways into water bodies with wide-ranging negative implications to health and the environment, explains Dr. Mohammad Arjmand, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UBC Okanagan. (2021-01-18)

Turn off that camera during virtual meetings, environmental study says
A new study says that despite a record drop in global carbon emissions in 2020, a pandemic-driven shift to remote work and more at-home entertainment still presents significant environmental impact due to how internet data is stored and transferred around the world. (2021-01-14)

Expanding the biosynthetic pathway via retrobiosynthesis
KAIST metabolic engineers presented the bio-based production of multiple short-chain primary amines that have a wide range of applications in chemical industries for the first time. The research team designed the novel biosynthetic pathways for short-chain primary amines by combining retrobiosynthesis and a precursor selection step. (2021-01-13)

No-till practices in vulnerable areas significantly reduce soil erosion
Soil erosion is a major challenge in agricultural production. It affects soil quality and carries nutrient sediments that pollute waterways. While soil erosion is a naturally occurring process, agricultural activities such as conventional tilling exacerbate it. Farmers implementing no-till practices can significantly reduce soil erosion rates, a new University of Illinois study shows. (2021-01-12)

UCF engineering and biology researchers collaborate to aid coral reef restoration
Florida's threatened coral reefs have a more than $4 billion annual economic impact on the state's economy, and University of Central Florida researchers are zeroing in on one factor that could be limiting their survival - coral skeleton strength. In a new study published in the journal Coral Reefs, UCF engineering researchers tested how well staghorn coral skeletons withstand the forces of nature and humans, such as impacts from hurricanes and divers. (2021-01-08)

Catalyst transforms plastic waste to valuable ingredients at low temperature
For the first time, researchers have used a novel catalyst process to recycle a type of plastic found in everything from grocery bags and food packaging to toys and electronics into liquid fuels and wax. (2021-01-05)

Surprising news: drylands are not getting drier
Columbia Engineering study is the first to show the importance of long-term soil moisture changes and associated soil moisture-atmosphere feedbacks in future predictions of water availability in drylands. The researchers identified a long-term soil moisture regulation of atmospheric circulation and moisture transport that largely ameliorates the potential decline of future water availability in drylands, beyond that expected in the absence of soil moisture feedbacks. (2021-01-04)

NYS can achieve 2050 carbon goals: Here's how
By delving into scientific, technological, environmental and economic data, Cornell University engineering researchers examined whether New York could achieve a statewide carbon-free economy by 2050. Their finding: Yes, New York can reach this goal - and do it with five years to spare. (2020-12-18)

Mystery solved: new study shows link between hot and dry weather and air quality in Korea
Although air quality in Korea has been declining over the past few decades, the reasons behind the steady rise in ground-level ozone concentrations are a mystery. In a recent study, scientists from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, investigated the relationship between synoptic weather patterns and ozone levels, revealing another worrisome link between air pollution and climate change. (2020-12-15)

'Peecycling' payoff: Urine diversion shows multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale
Diverting urine away from municipal wastewater treatment plants and recycling the nutrient-rich liquid to make crop fertilizer would result in multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale, according to a new University of Michigan-led study. (2020-12-15)

Applying compost to landfills could have environmental benefits
Many people think of composting organic matter as a way of keeping solid waste out of landfills, but a new study finds there can be significant environmental benefits associated with using compost at landfills. (2020-12-14)

Benefits of renewable energy vary from place to place
A new study finds the environmental benefits of renewable power generation vary significantly, depending on the nature of the conventional power generation that the renewable energy is offsetting. The researchers hope the work will help target future renewable energy investments in places where they can do the most good. (2020-12-14)

Silica the best environmental alternative to plastic microbeads, finds study
Following bans on plastic microbeads in wash-off cosmetics, a new study weighs up the environmental costs of alternatives. (2020-12-14)

Wastewater testing for COVID-19
A new wastewater testing approach capable of better detecting viral infection patterns in communities could prove a crucial step toward an informed public health response to diseases like COVID-19. (2020-12-07)

Gut microbiome snapshot could reveal chemical exposures in children
Researchers have completed the most comprehensive study to date on how a class of persistent pollutants called semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are associated with the gut microbiome in human children. The results provide a potential mechanism for measuring exposure to a wide variety of these substances and suggests exposure to toxic halogenated compounds may create a niche for bacteria not usually found in the human gut. (2020-12-03)

Study finds over 64% of people reported new health issues during 'work from home'
In a new study, researchers have found that working from home has negatively impacted our physical health and mental health, increased work expectations and distractions, reduced our communications with co-workers and ultimately lessened our productivity. The study finds that time spent at the workstation increased by approximately 1.5 hours. It also illustrates the differential impact of working from home for women, parents, and those with higher income (2020-12-03)

Common pipe alloy can form cancer-causing chemical in drinking water
Rusted iron pipes can react with residual disinfectants in drinking water distribution systems to produce carcinogenic hexavalent chromium in drinking water, reports a study by engineers at UC Riverside. (2020-12-03)

Danish researchers develop budget optical ammonia sensor
In collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the Department of Engineering at Aarhus University has developed photonic sensor technology that can pave the way for a portable, reliable and, above all, inexpensive device for detecting ammonia and other gases in agriculture. The new technology has been developed as part of the Ecometa project, which has received DKK 12.5 million funding from Innovation Fund Denmark. (2020-12-01)

Bacteria in iron-deficient environments process carbon sources selectively
Looking at a group of bacteria from soil, researchers at Northwestern University discovered that these organisms overcome limitation in their carbon processing machinery by rerouting their metabolic pathways to favor producing iron-scavenging compounds. (2020-11-30)

Some Amazon rainforest regions more resistant to climate change than previously thought
Is the Amazon rainforest as sensitive to water stress as what the current models have been showing? Columbia Engineering researchers found that the models have been largely over-estimating water stress in tropical forests. While models show that increases in air dryness greatly diminish photosynthesis rates in certain regions of the Amazon rainforest, observational data results show the opposite: in certain very wet regions, the forests instead even increase photosynthesis rates in response to drier air. (2020-11-20)

New solvent-based recycling process could cut down on millions of tons of plastic waste
Multilayer plastic materials are ubiquitous in food and medical supply packaging, particularly since layering polymers can give those films specific properties, like heat resistance or oxygen and moisture control. But despite their utility, those ever-present plastics are impossible to recycle using conventional methods. (2020-11-20)

New tool to combat terrorism
Forensic science experts at Flinders University are refining an innovative counter-terrorism technique that checks for environmental DNA in the dust on clothing, baggage, shoes or even a passport. ''This microscopic environmental trace evidence, based on soil geochemical, bacterial and fungal analysis would complement and enhance current forensic intelligence tools,'' lead researcher Dr Jennifer Young says in new research in Forensic Science International: Genetics. (2020-11-19)

Increasing diversity and community participation in environmental engineering
Black, Hispanic, and Native American students and faculty are largely underrepresented in environmental engineering programs in the ) States. A pathway for increasing diversity and community participation in the environmental engineering discipline (2020-11-19)

Antibiotic resistance surveillance tools in Puerto Rican watersheds after Hurricane Maria
Virginia Tech researchers and international collaborators have further developed an innovative antibiotic resistance surveillance approach by applying DNA sequencing techniques to detect the spread of disease in watersheds impacted by large-scale storms. (2020-11-18)

Green chemistry: Politecnico di Milano publishes in Chem
The prestigious journal Chem (Cell Press, impact factor: 19.735) publishes the first mechanosynthesis of a molecular crystal with a Borromean topology. The results obtained by the Politecnico di Milano group have shown that mechanosynthesis can be applied to the self-assembly of complex multi-component supramolecular structures such as the Borromean rings, demonstrating, in detail, the mechanism of formation of this complex topology. (2020-11-18)

A new understanding of ionic interactions with graphene and water
The findings from Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory researchers could inform design of environmental technologies behind water purification processes and electric energy storage. (2020-11-17)

Researchers find connection between household chemicals and gut microbiome
A team of researchers for the first time has found a correlation between the levels of bacteria and fungi in the gastrointestinal tract of children and the amount of common chemicals found in their home environment. The work, published this month in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, could lead to better understanding of how these semi-volatile organic compounds may affect human health. (2020-11-12)

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