Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


Computer Model Optimizes Biofuel Operations

Research into biofuel crops, such as switchgrass and Miscanthus, has focused mainly on how to grow these crops and convert them into fuels. But many steps lead from the farm to the biorefinery, and each could help or hinder the growth of this new industry.

Navy Researchers Investigate Microbial Fuel Cell Technology for Small-scale Autonomous Planetary Explorers

Robotic exploration to remote regions, to include distant planetary bodies, is often limited by energy requirements to perform, in repetition, even the simplest tasks.

Researchers Develop Cheaper Method of Manufacturing Fuel Cells

Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have developed a new and significantly cheaper method of manufacturing fuel cells.

Researchers Develop Solar-powered Runway Anti-icing System

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas are developing an anti-icing system that could make airport runways safer and less expensive to maintain during winter months.

Prairie Soil May Provide Answers to Countering Climate Change

Explaining the purchase of a hundred pounds of dry ice to the authorities might be a bit awkward for some people; however, for Ari Jumpponen, associate professor of biology at Kansas State University, it's just another day as a scientist.

Environmental Troubles Growing in Middle East Gulf Region Due to Rapid Coastal Development

The rapid, large scale coastal development underway in the Middle East must be better planned and managed to avoid aggravating degradation and losses in the fragile marine ecosystems shared by eight Gulf countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – warns a new report by the United Nations University (UNU).

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Study Shows Acid Pollution in Rain Decreased with Emissions

Emissions regulations do have an environmental impact, according to a long-term study of acidic rainfall by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Duke University Study Offers Seven Safeguards for Hydraulic Fracturing

A new report by Duke University researchers offers several health and environmental measures for North Carolina lawmakers to consider as they debate legalizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Researchers use classic antennas to harness more power from the sun

Researchers are now developing a solar panel composed of nano-antennas instead of semiconductors.

Thousand-color Sensor Reveals Contaminants in Earth and Sea

Technology with the ability to detect more than 1,000 colors, the hyperspectral camera is being used to diagnose contaminants and other environmental hazards in real time.

Federal Government Highlights Economic Benefits of Electronics Recycling

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) toured e-Green Management of Islip Terrace, New York to highlight the environmental, public health and economic benefits of recycling electronics.

NOAA Greenhouse Gas Index Continues to Climb

NOAA's updated Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI), which measures the direct climate influence of many greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, shows a continued steady upward trend that began with the Industrial Revolution of the 1880s.

Is Drinking Water from a Plastic Pipe Harmful to Your Health?

Pipe-in-pipe systems are now commonly used to distribute water in many homes. The inner pipe for drinking water is made of a plastic called cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). Are these pipes harmful to health and do they affect the taste and odour of drinking water?

Wind Energy Lessens Under Heat Wave Conditions

During the summer 2003, high temperatures and drought conditions in Europe led to a reduction of the wind force with direct consequences on the wind energy power, reduced by 22 percent. The study was recently published in Journal of Climate.

Genomics of Wood for Biofuels Production Investigated

A team of Virginia Tech researchers is working to characterize the genes involved in wood formation in poplar trees with the goal of improving the quality and quantity of wood as a feedstock for biofuels production.

Penn State Research Finds Humans and Climate Contributed to Extinctions of Large Ice-Age Mammals

Both climate change and humans were responsible for the extinction of some large mammals, according to research that is the first of its kind to use genetic, archeological, and climatic data together to infer the population history of large Ice-Age mammals.

Experts Recommend Rainwater Collection Sytems for Cities

Plain, sloping roofs can collect up to 50 percent more rainwater than flat roofs with gravel.

Study Links Pollutants to a 450 Percent Increase in Risk of Birth Defects

Pesticides and pollutants are related to an alarming 450 percent increase in the risk of spina bifida and anencephaly in rural China, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Peking University.

"Nanosheets" Could Make Fuel, Plastics Production More Energy Efficient and Cost-Effective

A University of Minnesota team of researchers has overcome a major hurdle in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics and various chemicals more cost effective and energy efficient.

The Green Look for EV Charging Stations in Germany

The network of electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations in Germany is still relatively sparse, but their number is growing rapidly. The majority of roadside charging points take the form of steel-clad pillars. A group of researchers has set out to develop an alternative design based on environmentally compatible materials.

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