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Biodiesel made from discarded cardboard boxes
Dr. Sun-Mi Lee and her team at the Clean Energy Research Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have announced that they have developed a novel microorganism capable of producing biodiesel precursors from lignocellulosic biomass such as discarded agricultural by-products, waste paper, and cardboard boxes. This microorganism has achieved the product yield twice of what was obtainable from its predecessors. (2020-11-30)

New tech can get oxygen, fuel from Mars's salty water
A new electrolysis system that makes use of briny water could provide astronauts on Mars with life-supporting oxygen and fuel for the ride home. (2020-11-30)

Understanding the utility of plasmas for medical applications
Plasma medicine is an emerging field, as plasmas show promise for use in a wide range of therapies from wound healing to cancer treatment, and plasma jets are the main plasma sources typically used in plasma-surface applications. To better understand how plasma jets modify the surfaces of biological tissue, researchers conducted computer simulations of the interaction between an atmospheric pressure plasma jet with a surface that has properties similar to blood serum. (2020-11-24)

Shift in atmospheric rivers could affect Antarctic sea ice, glaciers
Weather systems responsible for transporting moisture from the tropics to temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere have been gradually shifting toward the South Pole for the past 40 years, a trend which could lead to increased rates of ice melt in Antarctica, according to new research published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters. (2020-11-23)

Field geology at Mars' equator points to ancient megaflood
Floods of unimaginable magnitude once washed through Gale Crater on Mars' equator around 4 billion years ago - a finding that hints at the possibility that life may have existed there, according to data collected by NASA's Curiosity rover and analyzed in joint project by scientists from Jackson State University, Cornell University, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Hawaii. (2020-11-20)

Green hydrogen: Buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyte
Hydrogen produced by using solar energy could contribute to a climate neutral energy system of the future. But there are hurdles on the way from laboratory scale to large-scale implementation. A team at HZB has now presented a method to visualise convection in the electrolyte and to reliably simulate it in advance with a multiphysics model. The results can support the design and scaling up of this technology and have been published in the renowned journal Energy and Environmental Science. (2020-11-19)

UCF researchers identify features that could make someone a virus super-spreader
In a study in Physics of Fluids, UCF researchers used computer-generated models to numerically simulate sneezes in different types of people and determine associations between people's physiological features and how far their sneeze droplets travel and linger in the air. They found that people's features, like a stopped-up nose or a full set of teeth, could increase their potential to spread viruses by affecting how far droplets travel when they sneeze. (2020-11-19)

New semiconductor coating may pave way for future green fuels
Hydrogen gas and methanol for fuel cells or as raw materials for the chemicals industry, for example, could be produced more sustainably using sunlight, a new Uppsala University study shows. In this study, researchers have developed a new coating material for semiconductors that may create new opportunities to produce fuels in processes that combine direct sunlight with electricity. The study is published in Nature Communications. (2020-11-18)

New technique seamlessly converts ammonia to green hydrogen
Northwestern University researchers have developed a highly effective, environmentally friendly method for converting ammonia into hydrogen. The new technique is a major step forward for enabling a zero-pollution, hydrogen-fueled economy. The idea of using ammonia as a carrier for hydrogen delivery has gained traction in recent years because ammonia is much easier to liquify than hydrogen and is therefore much easier to store and transport. Northwestern's technological breakthrough overcomes several existing barriers to the production of clean hydrogen from ammonia. (2020-11-18)

System can sterilize medical tools using solar heat
Autoclaves, which are used to sterilize medical tools, require a steady supply of hot, pressurized steam. Researchers at MIT and the Indian Institute of Technology have come up with a way to generate that steam passively, using just the power of sunlight, to help maintain safe, sterile equipment at low cost in remote locations. (2020-11-18)

Report: In retrospect, the burning of wood in district heating plants has resulted in climate saving
A new report from the University of Copenhagen shows that the burning of wood is significantly more climate friendly than coal and slightly more climate friendly than natural gas over the long run. For the first time, researchers quantified what the conversion of 10 Danish cogeneration plants from coal or natural gas to biomass has meant for their greenhouse gas emissions. (2020-11-17)

Worms reveal why melatonin promotes sleep
Melatonin is used as a dietary supplement to promote sleep and get over jet lag, but nobody really understands how it works in the brain. Now, researchers at UConn Health show that melatonin helps worms sleep, too, and they suspect they've identified what it does in us. (2020-11-13)

NIST designs a prototype fuel gauge for orbit
Liquids aren't as well behaved in space as they are on Earth. Inside a spacecraft, microgravity allows liquids to freely slosh and float about. This behavior has made fuel quantity in satellites difficult to pin down, but a new 3D-imaging fuel gauge engineered at the National Institute of Standards and Technology could offer an ideal solution. (2020-11-12)

Climate change causes landfalling hurricanes to stay stronger for longer
Climate change is causing hurricanes that make landfall to take more time to weaken, reports a study published 11th November 2020 in leading journal, Nature. The researchers showed that hurricanes that develop over warmer oceans carry more moisture and therefore stay stronger for longer after hitting land. This means that in the future, as the world continues to warm, hurricanes are more likely to reach communities farther inland and be more destructive. (2020-11-11)

India's clean fuel transition slowed by belief that firewood is better for well-being
India's transition to clean cooking fuels may be hampered by users' belief that using firewood is better for their families' wellbeing than switching to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), a new study reveals. (2020-11-09)

Decrease in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions due to COVID-19 detected by atmospheric observations
Atmospheric observations at Hateruma Island, Japan, successfully detected the decrease in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions in China associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. The weather in Hateruma island is frequently influenced by the northwest monsoon travelling over China, which carries the emission signals of air pollutants. The observed ratios of CO2 and CH4 variabilities showed a significant decrease during February-March 2020, corresponding to about a 30% decrease in China's fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, according to a chemistry-transport model simulation. (2020-11-06)

Utilizing a 'krafty' waste product: Toward enhancing vehicle fuel economy
Researchers from Kanazawa University have chemically modified Kraft lignin -- ordinarily considered in the paper industry to be a waste product -- and used it to produce quality carbon fiber. When optimized in the future as an automotive structural material, it may reduce the fuel needed to power your car. (2020-11-05)

Global food system emissions threaten achievement of climate change targets
Even if greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the global food system were immediately halted, the remaining greenhouse gasses otherwise produced from global food production would make meeting the Paris Agreement's target of limiting temperature increases to 1.5° Celsius (C) above preindustrial levels very difficult, a new study reports. (2020-11-05)

Squid jet propulsion can enhance design of underwater robots, vehicles
Squids use a form of jet propulsion that is not well understood, especially when it comes to their hydrodynamics under turbulent flow conditions. Discovering their secrets can help create new designs for bioinspired underwater robots, so researchers are exploring the fundamental mechanism. They describe their numerical study in Physics of Fluids; among their discoveries, they found that thrust production and efficiency are underestimated within laminar, or nonturbulent, flows. (2020-11-03)

How to fix the movement for fossil fuel divestment
Bankers and environmentalists alike are increasingly calling for capital markets to play a bigger role in the war on carbon. In the absence of a meaningful global price on carbon, however, capital continues to flow freely toward fossil fuels and other carbon-intensive industries. The movement for fossil fuel divestment has been trying since 2012 to reverse this trend. (2020-11-03)

Soil-powered fuel cell promises cheap, sustainable water purification
Soil microbial fuel cells proven to be capable of creating energy to filter a person's daily drinking water in Brazil test. (2020-10-28)

RUDN University chemist suggested increasing the biofuel production efficiency with silica-supported
A chemist from RUDN University developed a silica-supported heteropolyacid system to produce ethers from waste products of the wood and paper industry and agriculture. Ethers can be used as biofuels, and the new method increases the efficiency of their production 4 to 10 times, thus reducing energy consumption and making the manufacturing of biofuels cheaper. (2020-10-28)

International collaboration reveals China's carbon balance
An international team of researchers has compiled and verified newly available data on the country's CO2 sink, and, for the first time, they have quantitatively estimated the effect of China's carbon mitigation efforts. The results show that China's forest ecosystem has a huge carbon sequestration effect. (2020-10-28)

Leaving more big fish in the sea reduces CO2 emissions
Leaving more big fish--like tuna, sharks, mackerel and swordfish--in the sea reduces the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the Earth's atmosphere.This is because when a fish dies in the ocean it sinks to the depths and sequestrates all the carbon it contains with it. This is a form of 'blue carbon'. Big fish are about 10 to 15 percent carbon. (2020-10-28)

Making biodiesel from dirty old cooking oil just got way easier
Researchers develop a new sponge-like catalyst that is so tough it can make biodiesel from low-grade ingredients containing up to 50% contaminants. And it's so efficient it could double the productivity of manufacturing processes for transforming food scraps, microplastics and old tyres into high-value commodity chemicals. (2020-10-26)

National laboratories point to sugars as a key factor in ideal feedstock for biofuels
Popular wisdom holds that tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass, but new research by two US Department of Energy National Laboratories reveals the size of trees is only part of the equation. Of equal economic importance, according to scientists from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is the amount of sugars that can be produced from the ligno-cellulosic biomass that can be converted into fuels. (2020-10-20)

Triggerfish learns to catch more diverse food
In probably the first observation of its kind, a tricky triggerfish is seen beaching itself before attacking a crab walking along the shoreline. (2020-10-19)

New 'green' engine for lorries ahead of the demanding anti-contamination regulation
Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) have designed a new engine to decrease the environmental impact of the most common type of lorries that travel on European roads - those that weigh between 18 and 25 tonnes. From their laboratories at the CMT-Thermal Engines of the UPV, they propose a new configuration that unites all the benefits of hybrid and dual-fuel combustion engines. (2020-10-19)

Russian scientists suggested a transfer to safe nuclear energy
Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Ozersk Technological Institute, and the Russian Academy of Sciences have improved a processing technology of a monazite concentrate which is a mineral raw material employed as a source of rare earth elements and thorium. The latter, in turn, is a part of the thorium-uranium fuel cycle that is more eco-friendly compared to the one based on uranium and plutonium. A related article appears in Energies. (2020-10-19)

Researchers step toward understanding how toxic PFAS chemicals spread from release sites
New lab studies are helping researchers to better understand how so called ''forever chemicals'' behave in soil and water, which can help in understanding how these contaminants spread. (2020-10-15)

Robots are helping to advance developmental biology
A new robotic tool can preserve and stain fly embryos en masse, enabling new kinds of experiments. (2020-10-14)

Gold- and bronze-like paints that don't contain metal
Lustrous metallic paints are used to enhance the beauty of many products, such as home decorations, cars and artwork. But most of these pigments owe their sheen to flakes of aluminum, copper, zinc or other metals, which have drawbacks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega have developed organic-only dyes that can form films resembling gold or bronze, without the need for metals. (2020-10-14)

Scientists show jet lag conditions impair immune response in mice
International researchers publishing in Science Advances reveal in a mouse study that chronic jet lag alters the microenvironment surrounding tumor cells, making it more favorable for tumor growth, and also hinders the body's natural immune defenses. (2020-10-14)

UCF researchers are working on tech so machines can thermally 'breathe'
In the era of electric cars, machine learning and ultra-efficient vehicles for space travel, computers and hardware are operating faster and more efficiently. But this increase in power comes with a trade-off: They get superhot. To counter this, University of Central Florida researchers are developing a way for large machines to ''breathe'' in and out cooling blasts of water to keep their systems from overheating. The findings are detailed in a recent study in the journal Physical Review Fluids. (2020-10-13)

UMD astronomers find x-rays lingering years after landmark neutron star collision
It's been three years since the landmark detection of a neutron star merger from gravitational waves. Since that day, an international team of researchers led by University of Maryland astronomer Eleonora Troja has been continuously monitoring the subsequent radiation emissions to provide the most complete picture of such an event. Their analysis provides possible explanations for X-rays that continued to radiate from the collision long after models predicted they would stop. (2020-10-12)

Revealing the reason behind jet formation at the tip of laser optical fiber
When an optical fiber is immersed in liquid, a high temperature, high speed jet is discharged. Researchers expect this to be applied to medical treatment in the future. Now, a research team from Russia and Japan has explored this phenomenon further and revealed the reasons behind the jet formation. (2020-10-12)

Beat the heat: Novel passive cooling device for surfaces and enclosed spaces
Scientists from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology have now developed the first passive radiative cooler that can keep the temperature of enclosed spaces low. Their device, called Janus emitter, requires no energy input or conscious effort from the user and is particularly effective for cooling parked vehicles, building interiors, and solar cells--all in a sustainable manner. (2020-10-07)

Aerodynamicists reveal link between fish scales and aircraft drag
A new research study conducted by City, University of London's Professor Christoph Bruecker and his team, has revealed that fish scale arrays generate a streaky base flow on the surface of the animal which yields important clues into reducing drag - the aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft's motion through the air - by more than 25 percent. (2020-10-07)

This 'squidbot' jets around and takes pics of coral and fish
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have built a squid-like robot that can swim untethered, propelling itself by generating jets of water. The robot carries its own power source inside its body. It can also carry a sensor, such as a camera, for underwater exploration. (2020-10-06)

Interplanetary storm chasing
Harvard researchers create a new 3D model that could explain the formation of a hexagon storm on Saturn -- a hurricane about 20,000 miles in diameter. (2020-10-06)

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