Current Environmental engineering News and Events

Current Environmental engineering News and Events, Environmental engineering News Articles.
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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)

Water-energy nanogrid provides solution for rural communities lacking basic amenities
Researchers at Texas A&M University have come up with an economical, green solution that can help underprivileged communities with their water and electricity needs. (2020-11-04)

Researchers devise new method to get the lead out
Researchers in the lab of Daniel Giammar, in McKelvey School of Engineering have devised a simple, quick and inexpensive way to quantify how much lead is trapped by a water filter. (2020-10-30)

Copolymer helps remove pervasive PFAS toxins from environment
Researchers have demonstrated that they can attract, capture and destroy PFAS - a group of federally regulated substances found in everything from nonstick coatings to shampoo and nicknamed ''the forever chemicals'' due to their persistence in the natural environment. (2020-10-29)

Let's (not) stick together
New research led by the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering examines the properties of the mucus of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and the role it plays in a pathogens' ability to survive. The new information could have important implications for CF treatment. (2020-10-28)

Promising strategies for durable perovskite solar cells
Perovskite materials are increasingly popular as the active layer in solar cells, but internal forces in these materials cause distortions in their crystal structures, reducing symmetry and contributing to their intrinsic instability. Researchers at Soochow University examined the mechanisms at play, as well as several degradation factors that influence the performance of perovskite photovoltaics. In APL Materials, they clarified the factors influencing the degradation and they summarized some feasible approaches for durable perovskite photovoltaics. (2020-10-27)

UCF researcher is working to extend battery life in smartphones, electric cars
A University of Central Florida researcher is working to make portable devices and electric vehicles stay charged longer by extending the life of the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries powering them. He is doing this by making the batteries more efficient, with some of his latest work focusing on keeping the anode from falling apart over time. The new technique is detailed in the journal Advanced Materials. (2020-10-26)

Bridges with limb-inspired architecture can withstand earthquakes, cut repair costs
Structural damage to any of the nation's ailing bridges can come with a hefty price of billions of dollars in repairs. New bridge designs promise more damage-resistant structures and, consequently, lower restoration costs. But if these designs haven't been implemented in the real world, predicting how they can be damaged and what repair strategies should be implemented remain unresolved. (2020-10-26)

Does classroom indoor environmental quality affect teaching and learning?
What impact does a classroom's indoor environment have on teaching, learning, and students' academic achievement in colleges and universities? This is the question researchers set out to answer in their analysis of all relevant published studies. (2020-10-21)

In pursuit of alternative pesticides
Controlling crop pests is a key element of agriculture worldwide, but the environmental impact of insecticides is a growing concern. Farmers have historically relied on the broad-spectrum chlorpyrifos, which is facing a potential ban in the U.S. A new article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, details how scientists are working to develop safer alternatives to chlorpyrifos. (2020-10-21)

Removal of synthetic estrogen from water
Synthetic estrogens from pharmaceuticals contaminate rivers and threaten the health of humans and fish. An effective and cost-efficient method for removing synthetic estrogen from bodies of water (2020-10-20)

Radiative cooler that cools down even under sunlight
POSTECH-Korea University joint research team develops a non-energy consuming radiative cooling material. (2020-10-19)

Gel instrumental in 3D bioprinting biological tissues
The eventual creation of replacement biological parts requires fully three-dimensional capabilities that two-dimensional and three-dimensional thin-film bioprinting cannot supply. Now, using a yield stress gel, Penn State engineers can place tiny aggregates of cells exactly where they want to build the complex shapes that will be necessary to replace bone, cartilage and other tissues. (2020-10-16)

Can your diet help protect the environment?
If Americans adhere to global dietary recommendations designed to reduce the impact of food production and consumption, environmental degradation could be reduced by up to 38%, according to a new paper published in the journal Environmental Justice. (2020-10-06)

New climate model helps researchers better predict water needs
New research from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering combines climate and land use projections to predict water availability, information that is crucial for the preparations of resource managers and land-use planners. (2020-10-06)

New research on how fungal cells respond to stress
Numerous species of filamentous fungi are pathogens that can make people sick, especially people who are immunocompromised. Different species of fungi play an important role in the development of pharmaceuticals and enzymes, and agriculture, where fungi can help improve the quality of soil and make nutrients more readily available for crops. By understanding how cells work and respond to stress, researchers can reverse-engineer processes that could have a broad range of applications. (2020-09-30)

Generating renewable hydrogen fuel from the sea
The power of the sun, wind and sea may soon combine to produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel, according to a team of Penn State researchers. The team integrated water purification technology into a new proof-of-concept design for a sea water electrolyzer, which uses an electric current to split apart the hydrogen and oxygen in water molecules. (2020-09-29)

Algorithm boosts efficiency, nutrition for food bank ops
Cornell University systems engineers examined data from a busy New York state food bank and, using a new algorithm, found ways to better allocate food and elevate nutrition in the process. (2020-09-17)

UCF researchers are developing models to predict storm surges
Storm surges sometimes can increase coastal sea levels 10 feet or more, jeopardizing communities and businesses along the water, but new research from the University of Central Florida shows there may be a way to predict periods when it's more likely that such events occur. In a study published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, researchers developed models to predict extreme changes in sea level by linking storm surges to large-scale climate variability. (2020-09-08)

Comprehensive look at US fuel economy standards show big savings on fuel and emissions
In one of the first comprehensive assessments of the fuel economy standards in the US, researchers found that, over their 40-year history, the standards helped reduce reliance on foreign oil producers, saved $5 trillion in fuel costs and prevented 14 billion metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. The standards (known as CAFE standards), first enacted to reduce foreign oil dependence, were cost-effective, fair, durable and adaptive, the researchers found. (2020-09-03)

An improved wearable, stretchable gas sensor using nanocomposites
A stretchable, wearable gas sensor for environmental sensing has been developed and tested by researchers at Penn State, Northeastern University and five universities in China. (2020-08-27)

New device can measure toxic lead within minutes
Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes -- far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal. (2020-08-26)

Environment drivers of ecological complexity in marine intertidal communities
Environmental conditions such as sea surface temperature and the occurrence of cold water upwelling events drive the structure of interaction networks in marine intertidal communities via their effects on species richness, according to new research. (2020-08-17)

Contextual engineering adds deeper perspective to local projects
Contextual engineering is a novel approach combining technological expertise with deep understanding of cultural and societal conditions. Ann-Perry Witmer, University of Illinois, developed the concept based on her years of experience in water design engineering. She outlines the practice in a recent article, published in Journal AWWA (American Water Works Association), the leading journal for water engineers in the US. (2020-08-17)

UCLA computer scientists set benchmarks to optimize quantum computer performance
Two UCLA computer scientists have shown that existing compilers, which tell quantum computers how to use their circuits to execute quantum programs, inhibit the computers' ability to achieve optimal performance. Specifically, their research has revealed that improving quantum compilation design could help achieve computation speeds up to 45 times faster than currently demonstrated. (2020-08-14)

Contaminants from Mount Polley tailings spill continue to affect Quesnel lake
Natural mixing of lake waters may resuspend contaminants deposited in a catastrophic mine spill six years ago, according to a new paper led by a University of Alberta scientist. (2020-08-13)

Bouncing, sticking, exploding viruses: Understanding the surface chemistry of SARS-CoV-2
Better understanding of the surface chemistry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is needed to reduce transmission and accelerate vaccine design. (2020-08-11)

New acid mine drainage treatment turns waste into valuable critical minerals
A new way to treat acid mine drainage (AMD) could help transform the environmental pollution problem into an important domestic source of the critical rare earth elements needed to produce technology ranging from smart phones to fighter jets, according to Penn State scientists. (2020-08-05)

For solar boom, scrap silicon for this promising mineral
Cornell University engineers have found that photovoltaic wafers in solar panels with all-perovskite structures outperform photovoltaic cells made from state-of-the-art crystalline silicon, as well as perovskite-silicon tandem cells, which are stacked pancake-style cells that absorb light better. (2020-08-03)

Origami microbots: Centuries-old artform guides cutting-edge advances in tiny machines
Origami principles can unlock the potential of the smallest robots, enhancing speed, agility and control in machines no more than a centimeter in size. (2020-07-30)

FSU engineering researchers harness wind data to help meet energy needs in Florida
A new study from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering shows how upcoming technological advances could make wind energy a hot commodity in the Sunshine State. (2020-07-30)

Major climate initiative in the Northeastern US benefits children's health
A new study by researchers from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health reports that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has been successful in reducing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions and substantially improving children's health, both major co-benefits of this climate policy. These findings are published today in Environmental Health Perspectives (2020-07-29)

Origami metamaterials show reversible auxeticity combined with deformation recoverability
New research by Northwestern Engineering and Georgia Institute of Technology expands the understanding of origami structures, opening possibilities for mechanical metamaterials to be used in soft robotics and medical devices. (2020-07-27)

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