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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 4

Apr 13, 2019

Neutral Zinc-air battery with cathode NiCo/C-N shows outstanding performance

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, sustainability

In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, a team of researchers from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Hunan University of Science and Technology have proposed a novel strategy for the synthesis of non-precious metal catalysts in zinc-air batteries that do not compromise its electroactivity, affordability and stability.

As a green and sustainable energy generator, zinc-air battery has attracted great attention from researchers due to its high specific energy, high current density, low cost, and environmental friendliness. Yet it is not without its drawbacks. The slow oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) of its cathode has become an obstacle to its commercial application. One possible solution is to use platinum (Pt) and Pt-based catalysts, but its high cost and scarce availability make it less ideal. In addition, alkaline KOH (or NaOH) is generally used as the electrolyte, but it leads to the generation of carbonates (CO32-) due to the dissolution of CO2 in the electrolyte as well as the spontaneous corrosion of the anodic zinc in strong alkaline media. This has the effect of slowing down the ionic conductivity of the electrolyte and battery life. Therefore, a neutral electrolyte should be used instead.

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Apr 13, 2019

Environmentalists are Wrong: Nature Isn’t Sacred and We Should Replace It

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, food, information science, life extension, robotics/AI, space, sustainability, transhumanism

Environmentalism and climate change are increasingly being pushed on us everywhere, and I wanted to write the transhumanism and life extension counter argument on why I prefer new technology over nature and sustainability. Here’s my new article:


On a warming planet bearing scars of significant environmental destruction, you’d think one of the 21st Century’s most notable emerging social groups—transhumanists—would be concerned. Many are not. Transhumanists first and foremost want to live indefinitely, and they are outraged at the fact their bodies age and are destined to die. They blame their biological nature, and dream of a day when DNA is replaced with silicon and data.

Their enmity of biology goes further than just their bodies. They see Mother Earth as a hostile space where every living creature—be it a tree, insect, mammal, or virus—is out for itself. Everything is part of the food chain, and subject to natural law: consumption by violent murder in the preponderance of cases. Life is vicious. It makes me think of pet dogs and cats, and how it’s reported they sometimes start eating their owner after they’ve died.

Continue reading “Environmentalists are Wrong: Nature Isn’t Sacred and We Should Replace It” »

Apr 12, 2019

EGEB: Solar cell breakthrough, Hawaiian solar projects, Chicago renewables, Amazon, and more

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, solar power, sustainability

  • Researchers figure out a new way to pair perovskites with silicon for a solar boost.
  • Hawaiian Electric sets new goals for solar and storage.
  • Chicago officially commits to its 100% renewable energy goal for 2035.
  • Anaheim builds nine new solar projects at public schools.
  • Amazon employees want the company to take action on climate change, stop supporting fossil fuels.

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Apr 12, 2019

Recycling robot can use sense of touch to sort through the trash

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) is developing a robot that sorts for recycling. Fundamentally, the squad’s robot arm has soft grippers ad the robot can take objects from a conveyor belt and identify what they are made from— by touch.

Tactile sensors on the are the main feature. The sensorized gripper is fully electrical driven. It can detect the difference between paper, metal and plastic.

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Apr 12, 2019

Global economy would save up to $160 trillion

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, health, sustainability

In fact, according to IRENA’s new report, the most cost-effective strategy to achieve a “climate-safe future” — keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) — is an accelerated energy transition to renewables and energy efficiency coupled with electrification of key sectors like transportation.

This Renewable Energy Roadmap (REmap) scenario “would also save the global economy up to USD 160 trillion cumulatively over the next 30 years in avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages.”

At the same time, IRENA reports, “every dollar spent on energy transition would pay off up to seven times.”

Continue reading “Global economy would save up to $160 trillion” »

Apr 11, 2019

Unique oil-eating bacteria found in world’s deepest ocean trench

Posted by in category: sustainability

Scientists from the University of East Anglia have discovered a unique oil eating bacteria in the deepest part of the Earth’s oceans—the Mariana Trench.


Apr 11, 2019

Marrying two types of solar cells draws more power from the sun

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

This is one of the most exciting results I’ve seen in a long time.


Simple tandem design uses perovskite layer to feed photons to silicon cell.

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Apr 11, 2019

A Moss Can Naturally Clean Harmful Arsenic From Water

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, sustainability

If you happen to be thirsty in the woods, there are a lot of things you can stick in your canteen to help clean up your drinking water. There are chlorine pills and filters (not crystals — never crystals). And now scientists have identified a certain kind of moss that could do it, too.

The moss is called Warnstorfia fluitans. It grows in Swedish wetlands contaminated with the toxic arsenic from nearby mining operations. Researchers found that the moss brought the arsenic levels of water down to drinkable levels surprisingly quickly, according to research published in the journal Environmental Pollution.

In northern Sweden, iron mines have contaminated much of the water with arsenic, a metal that is also toxic to humans. That harmful combination works its way into agricultural products like rice, traveling throughout the food web.

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Apr 11, 2019

This moss-covered wall is as air-purifying as 275 urban trees

Posted by in categories: environmental, health, space, sustainability, transportation

From smog-sucking bikes to electric taxis and paint made of car exhaust, designers and architects are stepping up to address air pollution—the world’s single largest health risk. But a new air filter making the rounds in Oslo, Paris, Brussels, and Hong Kong shows that nature may be our best ally in this battle.

Essentially a moss-covered wall, each CityTree removes CO2, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter from the air while also producing oxygen. A single tree is able to absorb 250 grams of particulate matter a day and remove 240 metric tons of CO2 each year—a level roughly on par with the air purification impact of 275 urban trees. Thirteen feet tall, with a metal frame, the CityTrees are easily installed in a public space, and they even have built-in seating at their base.

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Apr 10, 2019

US lawmakers begin push to expand federal electric vehicle tax credits

Posted by in categories: climatology, employment, sustainability

The existing $7,500 tax credit for buyers of EVs phases out over 15 months once an automaker sells 200,000 electric cars. The tax credit for Tesla buyers was halved to $3,750 on Jan. 1; General Motor’s tax credit was likewise cut in half starting April 1.

The bill, dubbed the Driving America Forward Act, would grant each automaker a $7,000 tax credit for an additional 400,000 vehicles after it exhausts the first 200,000 vehicles eligible for tax credits. It would shorten the phase-out schedule to nine months. The credits are paid directly to consumers, who can write them off on their tax returns.

“At a time when climate change is having a real effect on Michigan, today’s legislation is something we can do now to reduce emissions and combat carbon pollution,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., one of the sponsors of the legislation, said in a statement. “Our bill will help create American jobs and cement Michigan’s status as an advanced manufacturing hub.”

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