Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


Researchers Awarded Grants to Study Algae Fuel Production

Two University of Texas at Austin faculty members have won Moncrief Grand Challenge Faculty Awards to develop computer models for algae-based fuel production and improve the security of coastal waters.

Researchers See Effects of Common Plastic Additive BPA in Monkey Mammary Glands

A new study finds that fetal exposure to the plastic additive bisphenol A, or BPA, alters mammary gland development in primates. The finding adds to the evidence that the chemical can cause health problems in humans and bolsters concerns about it contributing to breast cancer.

PNNL Technology Wins Award for Improving Submarine Air Quality

Creators of a nanotech-based system that captures carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere within a submarine, while providing a more environmentally friendly removal process, have won the Federal Laboratory Consortium Interagency Partnership Award for 2012.

The Energy Efficient Soldier

U.S. soldiers are increasingly weighed down by batteries to power weapons, detection devices and communications equipment. So the Army Research Laboratory has awarded a University of Utah-led consortium almost $15 million to use computer simulations to help design materials for lighter-weight, energy efficient devices and batteries.

Global Change Puts Plankton Under Threat

Changes in the ocean’s chemistry, as a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, threaten marine plankton to a greater extent than previously thought, according to new research.

Increasing Speed of Greeland Glaciers Gives New Insight for Rising Sea Level

Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland's contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows.

Gas Development Linked to Wildlife Habitat Loss

Intense development of the two largest natural gas fields in the continental United States is driving away some wildlife from their traditional wintering grounds, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Students Use Dog Waste to Light Park

Every day, about 200 dogs and their owners visit the Cosmo dog park in Gilbert, Ariz. When they go home, they leave behind about eight cubic yards of dog waste, plastic bottles, bags and other trash. Normally, all of that junk ends up in a landfill. But starting this month, the little gifts that Fido leaves will be used to power a light at the park, thanks to a team of engineering and technology students from ASU’s Polytechnic campus.

New Tools Launched to Determine Solar, Wind Energy Potential on Contaminated Lands

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and launched new tools designed to test underutilized sites and contaminated land for solar and wind energy potential. The tools give local communities and landowners ways to evaluate sites for renewable energy potential without the need for technical expertise.

Marine Scientists Urge Government to Reassess Oil Spill Response

On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, a national panel of researchers including University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye is urging the federal government to reassess how it would respond to similar oil spills that might occur in the future.

New Poll Finds Americans Want Less Population Growth 40 years After Government Called for Stabilization

Forty years after a multi-year bi-partisan government commission recommended slowing U.S. population growth and eventually stabilizing, Americans still would like to see it happen, according to poll results to be released this weekend at the 2012 Earth Day Dallas festival.

Researchers Waste-to-Energy Technology Moves from the Lab to the Marketplace

Technology invented by a University of California, Davis, researcher that converts solid waste into renewable energy recently debuted as the first commercially available, high-solid anaerobic digestion system in the United States.

Can Sound Science Guide Dispersant Use During Subsea Oil Spills?

Two years ago this week, oil began streaming from the seafloor into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform. All told, the disaster cost 11 lives, released 4.9 million barrels of crude oil, and caused still unspecified impacts to marine life and the Gulf economy.

New Study Links Air Pollution and Early Death in the U.K.

In a study appearing this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, MIT researchers report that emissions from cars, trucks, planes and powerplants cause 13,000 premature deaths in the United Kingdom each year.

Deadly Jellyfish Weapons Unraveled

Heidelberg researchers have succeeded in unravelling the defense mechanisms of jellyfish. Scientists working with Prof. Dr. Thomas Holstein and Dr. Suat Özbek from the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University, together with collaborators from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), analyzed the proteome, or full set of proteins, of the stinging cells in the freshwater polyp Hydra.

Natural Clothing with Solar Power Chargers In the Works at Colorado State University

Colorado State University apparel design and production researchers and students are working to develop natural-fiber outdoor clothing that can charge MP3 devices, tablets, computers, GPS units and cell phones with built-in -- but comfortable to wear -- solar panels. The project is so impressive that it was recently selected to compete in a sustainability design competition in Washington, D.C., from April 21-23.

UC Berkeley Advances Sustainable Chemistry Education with Dow Gift

A Dow gift allows UC Berkeley to renovate and update its green chemistry program.

Italian Researcher Invents Floating Solar Panels

Marco Rosa-Clot, a professor at Florence University, has introduced his new project that addresses the limited-space concerns of photovoltaic panels: The Floating Tracking Cooling Concentrator (FTCC) System, which harnesses small basins and natural and artificial lakes to install PV plants.

New Study Shows No Evidence of Groundwater Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing

Wait. What? Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination, based on evidence reviewed in a study released by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

EPA Health Assessment for Popular Dry Cleaning Solvent

In an effort to protect public health, the EPA completed an assessment of the popular dry cleaning solvent - perc. The final assessment determined that perc is a "likely human carcinogen."

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