Current Environmentally Friendly News and Events

Current Environmentally Friendly News and Events, Environmentally Friendly News Articles.
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Biopolymer-coated nanocatalyst can help realize a hydrogen fuel-driven future
While popular as an eco-friendly fuel, hydrogen is difficult to produce efficiently in an eco-friendly manner (through sunlight-induced decomposition of water) due to stability issues of catalysts (chemical reaction facilitators). In a new study, scientists demonstrate water splitting under sunlight using polydopamine-coated zinc sulfide nanorods as a catalyst. In their paper, they report a remarkably enhanced hydrogen production rate and look into the causes, paving the way for a hydrogen-based future. (2021-02-23)

Hydrogen peroxide, universal oxidizing agent, high-efficiency production by simple process
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology(KIST) announced that a joint research team developed a platinum-gold alloy catalyst for hydrogen peroxide production based on a computer simulation. Hydrogen peroxide selectivity can be increased to 95% by using this catalyst, compared with only 30-40% for a palladium catalyst, which indicates that mostly hydrogen peroxide on the developed Pt-Au catalyst can be produced with a small amount of water. (2021-02-16)

Breakthrough in the fight against spruce bark beetles
For the first time, a research team led by Lund University in Sweden has mapped out exactly what happens when spruce bark beetles use their sense of smell to find trees and partners to reproduce with. The hope is that the results will lead to better pest control and protection of the forest in the future. (2021-02-16)

Highway tunnel for ions
We live in modern times, that is full of electronics. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and many other devices need electrical energy to operate. Portable devices made our lives easier, so novel solutions in clean energy and its storage are desirable. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are the most common solutions that dominate the global market and are a huge problem due to their insufficient recovery. (2021-02-16)

Researchers measure temperature effect of plasmon in chemical reactions using organic "sensors"
The researchers of TPU together with their colleagues from Russian and foreign scientific centers have found a way to estimate the temperature of a chemical reaction activated by pseudo-particles - plasmons. Two organic molecules served as ultra-small sensors or thermometers. (2021-02-15)

Producing more sustainable hydrogen with composite polymer dots
Hydrogen for energy use can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from water and sunlight, using photocatalytic composite polymer nanoparticles developed by researchers at Uppsala University. In laboratory tests, these 'polymer dots' showed promising performance and stability alike. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. (2021-02-12)

Flowers of St. John's Wort serve as green catalyst
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the School of Science at TU Dresden has for the first time used dried flowers of St. John's Wort (genus Hypericum) as an active catalyst in various photochemical reactions. This conceptually new and sustainable process was registered as a German patent and presented in the journal 'Green Chemistry'. (2021-02-12)

The therapeutic potential of peptides
There are more than 80 peptide drugs on the global market and about twice as many in clinical development. Due to their beneficial properties, these biomolecules play already an important role in the treatment of diseases. In Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, a team of Austrian and Australian scientists led by Markus Muttenthaler of the University of Vienna present an outlook on the latest trends in peptide drug discovery and development. (2021-02-10)

Russian scientists significantly improved coal-burning efficiency
A team of Russian scientists from NUST MISIS, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and Boreskov Institute of Catalysis has suggested a new approach to modifying the combustion behavior of coal. The addition of copper salts reduces the content of unburnt carbon in ash residue by 3.1 times and CO content in the gaseous combustion products by 40%, the scientists found. The research was published in Fuel Processing Technology. (2021-02-10)

Plant-based magnetic nanoparticles with antifungal properties
A team of researchers from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University obtained magnetic nanoparticles using sweet flag (Acorus calamus). Both the roots and the leaves of this plant have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and insecticide properties. (2021-02-10)

Environmentally friendly behavior is easy -- tourists just need a 'nudge'
A new study has demonstrated that providing a simple 'nudge' -- or cue -- is an effective way to influence the decision making process of tourists and encourage them to act in more environmentally friendly ways. The results offer many practical insights on how a simple, low cost intervention, such as placing a sign in a store, has huge potential on reducing the local impacts of businesses and tourist operators by making pro-environmental choices easy. (2021-02-09)

Researchers study how lifelong environmentalists want their remains handled after death
A new study from the University of Kansas in the journal Mortality details how older environmentalists consider death care and how likely they are to choose ''green'' burials and other eco-friendly options. (2021-02-09)

Energy harvesting: Printed thermoelectric generators for power generation
Thermoelectric generators, TEGs for short, convert ambient heat into electrical power. They enable maintenance-free, environmentally friendly, and autonomous power supply of the continuously growing number of sensors and devices for the Internet of Things (IoT) and recovery of waste heat. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now developed three-dimensional component architectures based on novel, printable thermoelectric materials. The results are reported in npj Flexible Electronics (DOI: 10.1038/s41528-020-00098-1) and ACS Energy Letters (DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.0c02159) (2021-02-05)

Salt battery design overcomes bump in the road to help electric cars go the extra mile
Using salt as a key ingredient, Chinese and British researchers have designed a new type of rechargeable battery that could accelerate the shift to greener, electric transport on our roads. (2021-02-01)

Physicists have developed new material for water desalination
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles decorated by gold absorb about 96% of the solar spectrum and turn it into heat. The material can accelerate the evaporation in desalination plants up to 2.5 times and can track hazardous molecules and compounds. An international research team with representatives from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), ITMO University, and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, published a related article in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2021-02-01)

Skoltech imaging resources used in international experiment with new photocatalysts
Skoltech researchers helped their colleagues from Japan, Germany, the United States, and China study the crystal structure and optical properties of a new class of two-dimensional compounds, which can be used as effective visible-light-responsive photocatalysts for energy and chemical conversion. They used the Advanced Imaging Core Facility equipment for imaging and structural analysis. (2021-02-01)

Putting bugs on the menu, safely
The thought of eating insects is stomach turning for many, but new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research is shedding light on allergy causing proteins which could pose serious health risks for those suffering from shellfish allergy. The research, published in the journal Food Chemistry, identified 20 proteins found in cricket food products which could cause serious allergic reactions. (2021-01-27)

Efficient solid-state depolymerization of waste PET
Despite significant methodological and technological advancements in chemical recycling of synthetic polymers, an effective mechanochemical PET degradation has not yet been described in the scientific literature, until now! Vjekoslav Štrukil from the Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI), Zagreb, Croatia, found that the challenging breakdown of waste PET under ambient conditions of temperature and pressure can be achieved by mechanochemical ball milling or vapor-assisted aging. (2021-01-25)

Fungi strengthen plants to fend off aphids
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have demonstrated that unique fungi strengthen the ''immune systems'' of wheat and bean plants against aphids. Fungi enter and influence the amount of a plant's own defences, resulting in fewer aphids. The results could serve to reduce agricultural insecticide use and bring Denmark a step further along the path towards its green transition. (2021-01-22)

Taking sieving lessons from nature
Nanostructure-templated electrochemical polymerization enhances speed and selectivity in organic membrane-based processes. (2021-01-21)

Making protein 'superfood' from marine algae
Marine microalgae-based cellular agriculture is a promising new way to sustainably produce plant-based 'meat' and healthy 'superfoods' for the future. Researchers at Flinders University's Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development (CMBD) in Australia are responding to growing interest from consumers looking for healthier, more environmentally friendly, sustainable and ethical alternatives to animal proteins. (2021-01-21)

Eliminating microplastics in wastewater directly at the source
A research team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has developed a process for the electrolytic treatment of wastewater that degrades microplastics at the source. The results of this research have been published in the Environmental Pollution journal. (2021-01-18)

Researchers develop sustainable catalysis process
Acetals are important chemical compounds that are used, for example, in the production of certain medical agents. A new method now makes their synthesis easier and more environmentally friendly. Chemists at the University of Bonn have developed and optimized the sustainable catalytic process. State-of-the-art computer simulations were also used. The reaction is based on a mechanism that frequently occurs in nature, but has rarely been used in chemical synthesis up to now. (2021-01-18)

Do as the Romans: Power plant concrete strengthens with time
Nagoya University scientists find a rare mineral in nuclear power plant walls, significantly improving their strength following years of full operation. (2021-01-13)

Making hydrogen energy with the common nickel
POSTECH joint research team develops a nickel-based catalyst system doped with oxophilic transition metal elements. (2021-01-12)

Businesses stand to benefit from sustainable restructuring
Is it profitable for a company to switch to sustainable production? Researchers conclude that it probably often is. (2021-01-06)

Faster, greener way of producing carbon spheres
A fast, green and one-step method for producing porous carbon spheres, which are a vital component for carbon capture technology and for new ways of storing renewable energy, has been developed by Swansea University researchers. The method produces spheres that have good capacity for carbon capture, and it works effectively at a large scale. (2020-12-28)

Chemists describe a new form of ice
Scientists from the United States, China, and Russia have described the structure and properties of a novel hydrogen clathrate hydrate that forms at room temperature and relatively low pressure. Hydrogen hydrates are a potential solution for hydrogen storage and transportation, the most environmentally friendly fuel. (2020-12-22)

Nanoplastics alter intestinal microbiome and threaten human health
A review study led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the CREAF and the University of Aveiro concludes that nanoplastics change the composition and diversity of gut microbiome in vertebrates and invertebrates. The effects of a widespread and prolonged exposure to nanoplastics observed in animal models could be applied to humans. (2020-12-21)

Waste to treasure: Crayfish shells to store energy
Other than a spicy night snack, the crayfish has been endowed with greater significance. Prof. ZHU Xifeng's team from University of Science and Technology of China made it possible to use crayfish shell as the biological template for high-performance supercapacitors. (2020-12-21)

New class of cobalt-free cathodes could enhance energy density of next-gen lithium-ion batteries
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replace the costly cobalt-based cathodes typically found in today's lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and consumer electronics. (2020-12-18)

Academies call for prompt action to protect biodiversity in the agricultural landscape
The biodiversity in Germany's agricultural landscape has declined considerably in recent years. In a joint statement, the German Academies of Sciences state the protection of biodiversity as an urgent and complex challenge. A change in society as a whole towards sustainable farming is required. It is important to also take the economic, political, legal, and social parameters of agriculture into account. Thus, the scientists recommend a systematic approach, implementing a variety of solutions at the same time. (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)

Social media messages help reduce meat consumption
Sending direct messages on social media informing people of the negative health and environmental impacts of consuming meat has proven successful at changing eating habits, a new study from Cardiff University has shown. (2020-12-09)

A comprehensive review of biosynthesis of inorganic nanomaterials using microorganisms and bacteriophages
A KAIST bioprocess engineering research team conducted a summary of 146 biosynthesized single and multi-element inorganic nanomaterials covering 55 elements in the periodic table synthesized using wild-type and genetically engineered microorganisms. Their research highlights the diverse applications of biogenic nanomaterials and gives strategies for improving the biosynthesis of nanomaterials in terms of their producibility, crystallinity, size, and shape. (2020-12-07)

Self-repairing gelatin-based film could be a smart move for electronics
Dropping a cell phone can sometimes cause superficial cracks to appear. But other times, the device can stop working altogether because fractures develop in the material that stores data. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Polymer Materials have made an environmentally friendly, gelatin-based film that can repair itself multiple times and still maintain the electronic signals needed to access a device's data. The material could be used someday in smart electronics and health-monitoring devices. (2020-12-02)

Study shows promising material can store solar energy for months or years
Lancaster University researchers studying a crystalline material have discovered it has properties that allow it to capture energy from the sun. The energy can be stored for several months at room temperature, and it can be released on demand in the form of heat. With further development, these kinds of materials could offer exciting potential as a way of capturing solar energy during the summer months, and storing it for use in winter - where less solar energy is available. (2020-12-02)

The new generation solar, developed by TalTech, cells contribute to the green revolution
The European Union is determined to undertake a major reform known as the European Green Deal. The biggest changes will take place in the energy production sector, which stands on the brink of a complete transition to renewable energy sources, including solar energy. To boost the power output of solar cells to a terawatt-scale, technologies that leave a smaller ecological footprint, are more efficient and offer a wider range of applications need to be developed alongside with the first-generation silicon-based solar cells. (2020-12-01)

Scientists warn of the social and environmental risks tied to the energy transition
New international research by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) warns that green energy projects can be as socially and environmentally conflictive as fossil fuel projects. While renewable energies are often portrayed as being environmentally sustainable, this new study cautions about the risks associated with the green energy transition, arguing for an integrated approach that redesigns energy systems in favor of social equity and environmental sustainability. (2020-12-01)

High genomic variability predicts success in desert tortoise refugees; could inform conservation
Tortoise refugees with the highest genetic variation are far more likely to survive conservation translocation than tortoises whose genetic diversity is lower, according to a new study. (2020-11-26)

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