Current Fossil Fuels News and Events

Current Fossil Fuels News and Events, Fossil Fuels News Articles.
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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)

From fins to limbs
In a new study an international team of researchers examined three-dimensional digital models of the bones, joints, and muscles of the fins and limbs of two extinct early tetrapods and a closely related fossil fish and discover these early tetrapods had a very distinct pattern of muscle leverage that didn't look like a fish fin or modern tetrapod limbs and their limbs were more adapted for propulsion rather than weight bearing. (2021-01-22)

New eco-friendly way to make ammonia could be boon for agriculture, hydrogen economy
Ammonia has sustained humanity since the early 20th century, but its production leaves a huge carbon footprint. Now researchers have found a way to make it 100 per cent renewable. (2021-01-21)

Palaeontology: Fossil burrows point to ancient seafloor colonization by giant marine worms
Giant ambush-predator worms, possible ancestors of the 'bobbit worm', may have colonized the seafloor of the Eurasian continent around 20 million years ago. The findings, based on the reconstruction of large, L-shaped burrows from layers of seafloor dating back to the Miocene (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) of northeast Taiwan, are reported in Scientific Reports this week. (2021-01-21)

Giant sand worm discovery proves truth is stranger than fiction
Simon Fraser University researchers have found evidence that large ambush-predatory worms--some as long as two metres--roamed the ocean floor near Taiwan over 20 million years ago. (2021-01-21)

An anode-free zinc battery that could someday store renewable energy
Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, could help decrease the world's reliance on fossil fuels. But first, power companies need a safe, cost-effective way to store the energy for later use. Massive lithium-ion batteries can do the job, but they suffer from safety issues and limited lithium availability. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Nano Letters have made a prototype of an anode-free, zinc-based battery that uses low-cost, naturally abundant materials. (2021-01-20)

New starfish-like fossil reveals evolution in action
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a fossil of the earliest starfish-like animal, which helps us understand the origins of the nimble-armed creature. (2021-01-20)

50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia
The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice. It is remarkable, scientists say, because the bug's physical characteristics -- from the bold banding pattern on its legs to the internal features of its genitalia -- are clearly visible and well-preserved. Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, the fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs. (2021-01-19)

All-purpose dinosaur opening reconstructed for first time
For the first time ever, a team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have described in detail a dinosaur's cloacal or vent -- the all-purpose opening used for defecation, urination and breeding. (2021-01-19)

Acidification impedes shell development of plankton off the US West Coast
Results from a 2016 research cruise show ocean acidification has interfered with shell development of zooplankton that are a critical part of the marine food web. (2021-01-19)

Discovery of new praying mantis species from the time of the dinosaurs
A McGill-led research team has identified a new species of praying mantis thanks to imprints of its fossilized wings. It lived in Labrador, in the Canadian Subarctic around 100 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, in the Late Cretaceous period. The researchers believe that the fossils of the new genus and species, Labradormantis guilbaulti, helps to establish evolutionary relationships between previously known species and advances the scientific understanding of the evolution of the most 'primitive' modern praying mantises. (2021-01-19)

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)

A new archaeology for the Anthropocene era
Scantily clad tomb raiders and cloistered scholars piecing together old pots - these are the kinds of stereotypes of archaeology that dominate public perception. Yet archaeology in the new millennium is a world away from these images. In a major new report, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History probe a thoroughly modern and scientific discipline to understand how it is helping to address the considerable challenges of the Anthropocene. (2021-01-18)

Carbon pricing's disappointing effect on the pace of technological change
In order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the world must reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Carbon pricing is viewed by many governments and experts as the most important climate policy instrument. However, a new study shows that carbon pricing has been less effective as a driver of technological change than was previously anticipated. (2021-01-18)

New fossil provides clarity to the history of Alligatoridae
''From what we have, we are able to understand a little bit more about the evolutionary history of caimans and the alligatorid group, which includes alligators and caimans.'' (2021-01-15)

Stuck in a rut: Ocean acidification locks algal communities in a simplified state
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that ocean acidification limits algal communities to a state of low diversity and complexity. Communities grown in waters rich in carbon dioxide (CO2) were dominated by turf algae, and had low biodiversity, ecological complexity and biomass. Communities grown under acidic conditions and then transferred to waters that weren't CO2-enriched increased their biodiversity and complexity, showing that they can recover if CO2 emissions are significantly reduced. (2021-01-15)

Spectacular fossil discovery:
A team led by Sebastian Stumpf from the University of Vienna describes an well-preserved skeleton of the ancient shark Asteracanthus. This rare fossil find comes from the famous Solnhofen limestones in Bavaria, which was formed in a tropical-subtropical lagoon landscape during the Late Jurassic, about 150 million years ago. The almost complete skeleton shows that Asteracanthus was two-and-a-half meters long, which makes this ancient shark one of the largest of its time. The study is published in Papers in Palaeontology. (2021-01-14)

Accounting for the gaps in ancient food webs
Studying ancient food webs can help scientists reconstruct communities of species, many long extinct, and even use those insights to figure out how modern-day communities might change in the future. There's just one problem: only some species left enough of a trace for scientists to find eons later, leaving large gaps in the fossil record -- and researchers' ability to piece together the food webs from the past. (2021-01-14)

How will we achieve carbon-neutral flight in future?
Carbon-neutral aviation is possible, but in future, aircraft are likely to continue to be powered by fossil fuels. The CO2 they emit must be systematically stored underground. This is the most economical of various approaches that ETH researchers have compared in detail. (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)

Fossils' soft tissues helping to solve puzzle that vexed Darwin
Remarkably well-preserved fossils are helping scientists unravel a mystery about the origins of early animals that puzzled Charles Darwin. (2021-01-12)

UCF researchers use advanced light to reveal how different biofuels behave
Vehicles have evolved to become more efficient and sophisticated, but their fuel hasn't necessarily evolved along with them. The Department of Energy is determined to identify cleaner burning and renewable alternatives to gasoline, and through the work of two UCF researchers, the DOE is one step closer to that goal. (2021-01-12)

New process more efficiently recycles excess CO2 into fuel, study finds
For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts. (2021-01-11)

UVA-led team expands power grid planning to improve system resilience
Researchers' paper in Nature Energy demonstrates that modernizing power grids and using renewable energy will be cheaper than repairing hurricane damage. (2021-01-11)

Scientists make sustainable polymer from sugars in wood
Scientists from the University of Bath have made a sustainable polymer using the second most abundant sugar in nature, xylose. (2021-01-11)

Positive 'tipping points' offer hope for climate
Positive 'tipping points' could spark cascading changes that accelerate action on climate change, experts say. (2021-01-10)

Scientists develop a cheaper method that might help create fuels from plants
Scientists have figured out a cheaper, more efficient way to conduct a chemical reaction at the heart of many biological processes, which may lead to better ways to create biofuels from plants. (2021-01-08)

It's getting hot in here: Warming world will fry power plant production in coming years
During the year's hottest months, many people rely on electricity-generated cooling systems to remain comfortable. But the power plants that keep air conditioners pushing out cold air could soon be in a vicious cycle in a warming world-not able to keep up with growing demands on hotter days and driving up greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous levels. (2021-01-06)

Impurities boost performance of organic solar cells
An electrochemical method for stabilizing a reactive molecule can help the development of higher efficiency solar cells. (2021-01-05)

Leaf fossils show severe end-Cretaceous plant extinction in southern Argentina
The asteroid impact 66 million years ago that ushered in a mass extinction and ended the dinosaurs also killed off many of the plants that they relied on for food. Fossil leaf assemblages from Patagonia, Argentina, suggest that vegetation in South America suffered great losses but rebounded quickly, according to an international team of researchers. (2021-01-05)

Pandemic and forthcoming stimulus funds could bring climate targets in sight -- or not
The lockdowns that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced greenhouse gas emissions. However, in the recovery phase, emissions could rise to levels above those projected before the pandemic. It all depends on how the stimulus money that governments inject into their economies is spent. A team of scientists, led by Dr. Yuli Shan and Professor Klaus Hubacek, University of Groningen, has quantified how different recovery scenarios may affect global emissions and climate change. (2020-12-22)

It's electrifying! This is how Earth could be entirely powered by sustainable energy
Can you imagine a world powered by 100% renewable electricity and fuels? It may seem fantasy, but a collaborative team of scientists has just shown this dream is theoretically possible - if we can garner global buy-in. The study explores what changes are needed in our energy mix and consumption patterns if we are to achieve 100% renewability in a way that supports everyone and the myriad of life on our planet. (2020-12-22)

The Milky Way primordial history and its fossil findings
Recently discovered and named, the ''Bulge Fossil Fragments'' represent a new class of stellar systems composed of the relics of primordial massive clumps of gas and stars that originated the core of our galaxy approximately 12 billion years ago (2020-12-18)

Water limitations in the tropics offset carbon uptake from arctic greening
More plants and longer growing seasons in the northern latitudes have converted parts of Alaska, Canada and Siberia to deeper shades of green. Some studies translate this Arctic greening to a greater global carbon uptake. But new research shows that as Earth's climate is changing, increased carbon absorption by plants in the Arctic is being offset by a corresponding decline in the tropics. (2020-12-18)

New discovery opens novel pathway for high-titer production of drop-in biofuels
Using an unusual, light-dependent enzyme and a newly discovered enzymatic mechanism, researchers from Aarhus University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have enabled the biological synthesis of high-yield industry relevant production of climate neutral drop-in fuels from biowaste. The study along with the new discovery has been published in Nature Communications. (2020-12-17)

How long's too long? Effects of crosslinker length on anion-exchange membrane fuel cells
Anion exchange membrane (AEM) fuel cells (AEMFCs), which produce electricity using hydrogen, are considered an alternative to currently used proton exchange membrane fuel cells. However, AEMs have problems with stability in alkaline conditions, which can be overcome by crosslinking--but effects of crosslinker length on AEMFC performance are not well understood. Now, scientists from Korea have elucidated such effects for oxygen-containing crosslinkers and, using an optimally long crosslinker, produced a novel AEMFC with greater performance. (2020-12-17)

Energy transition at the crossroads: New topical issue in Russian Journal of Economics
A new issue of the Russian Journal of Economics gets a set of profound messages across, summarized as: ''transition matters, transition goes, yet transition is not a simple, unified march towards a Green future''. The special journal issue comprises seven articles, authored by researchers from six countries and two continents. They address the issues underlying the energy transition: imminent and necessitated on a global level, against diverse factors, including resources, population, technology and politics. (2020-12-16)

Infrastructure key to balancing climate and economic goals in developing countries
Developing nations have an opportunity to avoid long-term dependence on fossil fuel-burning infrastructure as they move toward economic stability, even if they are slow to cut carbon emissions, say the authors of a new paper. Countries with low per capita incomes can keep their contributions to global warming to 0.3 degrees Celsius with careful foresight and planning, urge Carnegie's Lei Duan and Ken Caldeira with Juan Moreno-Cruz of the University of Waterloo. (2020-12-16)

Researchers use origami to solve space travel challenge
WSU researchers have used the ancient Japanese art of paper folding to possibly solve a key challenge for outer space travel - how to store and move fuel to rocket engines. The researchers have developed an origami-inspired, folded plastic fuel bladder that doesn't crack at super cold temperatures and could someday be used to store and pump fuel. (2020-12-15)

Balancing climate and development goals
The impact on climate change would only be modest if countries in the process of development were to delay efforts to reduce their carbon emissions until they reach a certain level of economic growth. (2020-12-15)

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