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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 6

Oct 16, 2020

More than 200 million Americans could have toxic PFAS in their drinking water

Posted by in categories: chemistry, sustainability

A peer-reviewed study by scientists at the Environmental Working Group estimates that more than 200 million Americans could have the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in their drinking water at a concentration of 1 part per trillion, or ppt, or higher. Independent scientific studies have recommended a safe level for PFAS in drinking water of 1 ppt, a standard that is endorsed by EWG.

The study, published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, analyzed publicly accessible drinking testing results from the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey, as well as state testing by Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Rhode Island.

“We know drinking water is a major source of exposure of these toxic chemicals,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at EWG and a co-author of the new study. “This new paper shows that PFAS pollution is affecting even more Americans than we previously estimated. PFAS are likely detectable in all major water supplies in the U.S., almost certainly in all that use surface water.”

Oct 16, 2020

US highways have significant solar potential

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

Utilizing lands for Right of Ways of Interstate Highways offer a lot of solar potential.


From pv magazine USA

As more states establish renewable energy mandates and expand the penetration of solar onto their grids, officials and developers are finding that locating land for these projects can be tricky. A new study released by the University of Texas at Austin’s Webber Energy Group looks to solve some of these siting issues by using publicly available and underutilized land at interstate exits.

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Oct 16, 2020

Tesla Model 3 ‘refresh’ goes live with 353-mile range, Uberturbine wheels, powered trunk, and more

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

The Tesla Model 3 “refresh” has gone live on the electric car maker’s online configurator, and it comes with several compelling updates. As could be seen in the all-electric sedan’s order page, the Model 3 now comes with better range, better performance, new wheels, new features like a powered trunk, and more.

A look at the Model 3’s updated online configurator shows that the Standard Range variant, which used to have 250 miles of range, now has 263 miles of range per charge. The Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor AWD stands at the top range-wise with a whopping EPA rating of 353 miles per charge, far above the 322 miles that it previously offered. Even the Model 3 Performance, which is not optimized for maximum efficiency, now comes with 315 miles per charge, an improvement over its previous 299-mile EPA rating.

Oct 15, 2020

Solar power is now ‘lowest cost electricity ever seen’

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Oct 15, 2020

Turning Diamond Into Metal – For Improved Solar Cells, LEDs, and Power Electronics

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Normally an insulator, diamond becomes a metallic conductor when subjected to large strain in a new theoretical model.

Long known as the hardest of all natural materials, diamonds are also exceptional thermal conductors and electrical insulators. Now, researchers have discovered a way to tweak tiny needles of diamond in a controlled way to transform their electronic properties, dialing them from insulating, through semiconducting, all the way to highly conductive, or metallic. This can be induced dynamically and reversed at will, with no degradation of the diamond material.

The research, though still at an early proof-of-concept stage, may open up a wide array of potential applications, including new kinds of broadband solar cells, highly efficient LEDs and power electronics, and new optical devices or quantum sensors, the researchers say.

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Oct 15, 2020

Researchers first to develop an organic battery

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Are organic batteries coming?


Researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, have for the first time demonstrated an organic battery. It is of a type known as a ‘redox flow battery,” with a large capacity that can be used to store energy from wind turbines and solar cells, and as a power bank for cars.

Redox flow batteries are stationary batteries in which the is located in the electrolyte, outside of the cell itself, as in a fuel cell. They are often marketed with the prefix ‘eco,” since they open the possibility of storing from, for example, the sun and wind. Further, it appears to be possible to recharge them an unlimited number of times. However, redox flow batteries often contain vanadium, a scarce and expensive metal. The electrolyte in which energy is stored in a redox flow battery can be water-based, which makes the battery safe to use, but results in a lower energy density.

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Oct 14, 2020

Alphabet’s New Moonshot Is to Transform How We Grow Food

Posted by in categories: food, genetics, solar power, sustainability

Mineral’s plant buggy looks like a platform on wheels, topped with solar panels and stuffed with cameras, sensors, and software.


But maybe there’s a better way—and Mineral wants to find it.

Like many things nowadays, the key to building something better is data. Genetic data, weather pattern data, soil composition and erosion data, satellite data… The list goes on. As part of the massive data-gathering that will need to be done, X introduced what it’s calling a “plant buggy” (if the term makes you picture a sort of baby stroller for plants, you’re not alone…).

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Oct 14, 2020

Solar-powered system extracts drinkable water from “dry” air

Posted by in categories: engineering, sustainability

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have significantly boosted the output from a system that can extract drinkable water directly from the air even in dry regions, using heat from the sun or another source.

The system, which builds on a design initially developed three years ago at MIT by members of the same team, brings the process closer to something that could become a practical water source for remote regions with limited access to water and electricity. The findings are described today in the journal Joule, in a paper by Professor Evelyn Wang, who is head of MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering; graduate student Alina LaPotin; and six others at MIT and in Korea and Utah.

The earlier device demonstrated by Wang and her co-workers provided a proof of concept for the system, which harnesses a temperature difference within the device to allow an adsorbent material — which collects liquid on its surface — to draw in moisture from the air at night and release it the next day. When the material is heated by sunlight, the difference in temperature between the heated top and the shaded underside makes the water release back out of the adsorbent material. The water then gets condensed on a collection plate.

Oct 14, 2020

Disney World McDonald’s to be first net-zero fast food restaurant

Posted by in categories: food, solar power, sustainability

Sustainability comes to the happiest place on Earth! Solar power helps make this Disney World McDonald’s one of the first net-zero fast food restaurants.

Oct 14, 2020

A Small Electric Car Made of Recycled Trash

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Collectively, we produce 2.1 billion tons of waste per year, or as a group of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) would explain it, we produce the same amount as “the PSV Eindhoven football stadium filled 7380 times to the roof.”

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