News


Nanotrees Harvest the Sun's Energy to Turn Water Into Hydrogen Fuel

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy without using fossil fuels and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. Reporting in the journal Nanoscale, the team said nanowires, which are made from abundant natural materials like silicon and zinc oxide, also offer a cheap way to deliver hydrogen fuel on a mass scale.

EPA Encourages Americans to Save Water During Fix a Leak Week

American households waste more than one trillion gallons of water each year due to leaky pipes, toilets, showerheads and other fixtures, but fixing leaks can be easy and inexpensive. During the 4th annual Fix a Leak Week, March 12-18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program is educating Americans about the importance of fixing leaks around the home, which will save water and nearly 10 percent on utility bills.

REACH Report Gets Industry's Notice

The report released Feb. 28 by researchers from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the IU European Union Center is being cited by the American Chemical Council as proof REACH won’t work well in the US.

EPA Issues 2011 Fuel Economy Trends Report

Fuel economy edges to record high as carbon pollution levels drop to new low.

Genetic Survey of Endangered Antarctic Blue Whales Shows Surprising Diversity

More than 99 percent of Antarctic blue whales were killed by commercial whalers during the 20th century, but the first circumpolar genetic study of these critically endangered whales has found a surprisingly high level of diversity among the surviving population of some 2,200 individuals.

Scientists Establish Links Between Agricultural Use and Transport to Streams

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have, for the first time, demonstrated how aquifer composition can affect how excessive levels of phosphorous (an essential nutrient contained in fertilizers) can be carried from fertilized agricultural fields via groundwater to streams and waterways. This finding will allow for more informed management of agriculture, ecosystem, and human water needs. 

House Greenlights Massive Bridge Over Wild And Scenic St. Croix River

In a blow to fiscal responsibility and river protections that Americans hold dear, the House of Representatives today voted to allow the construction of a $700 million mega-bridge over the Wild and Scenic St. Croix River. The bill had already passed the Senate.

Southern California Expands Water Purification

The Groundwater Replenishment System expands its capacity to purify wastewater.



Obama Administration Announces Commitments to Protect the Health of Every American

Agencies publish environmental justice strategies designed to ensure that all communities are protected from environmental harm and benefit from federal programs

New Way to Measure Nitrous Oxide Emissions

An accurate new way to measure a potent greenhouse gas emitted during agricultural production will help countries to better manage their environmental impact, thanks to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research.

Department of Homeland Security Focused on Nation's Energy Grid

The nation's electric grid isn't something most of us think about very often, except when an event such as the infamous 2003 blackout in the northeast takes place.

New Methods for Better Wastewater Purification

Before wastewater reaches recipient waters, nutrients must be removed in order to avoid eutrophication and large algal blooms, which may result in serious damage to animal and plant life. Robert Almstrand at the Depertment of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has shown in his thesis that better removal of nitrogen from wastewater can be achieved by providing the bacteria that purify the water with alternating high and low levels of nutrients.

Oklahoma Dept of Labor Received Grant to Reduce Asbestos Exposure

The grant for $234,713, given to the Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL), will be used for inspections and encouraging compliance with the Asbestos in Schools Program which is designed to protect the health of school children and other occupants as well as the community.

Costs for Changing Pollution Criteria in Florida Waters Likely to Exceed EPA Estimates

The costs to switch to numeric criteria for limiting nutrient pollutants in Florida waters are expected to exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, says a new National Research Council report.

Drinking Up the Possibilities of Water Reclamation

As the world population grows, the struggle to provide enough resources to people becomes paramount. Whether it is having access to a resource or having enough of it, nations will fight to gain control of supply. Of those resources, one of the most vital is water.

The Future of Nuclear Energy

Last March, the world watched closely as Japan struggled to contain a series of equipment failures, hydrogen explosions and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

A Thermal Heating System that Changes with Seasons

A start-up from EPFL and CSEM is putting on the market a thermal regulator that uses neural networks to learn about your house as the seasons change, allowing for savings of up to 65 percent on fuel.

Natural Levels of Nitrogen in Tropical Forests May Increase Vulnerability to Pollution

Waterways in remote, pristine tropical forests located in the Caribbean and Central America contain levels of nitrogen comparable to amounts found in streams and rivers flowing through polluted forests in the United States and Europe. This discovery by a Princeton University-led research team raises questions about how tropical forests might respond if they were to become exposed to additional nitrogen through water and air pollution.

Saving Fuel on Buses

Bus and truck companies could cut their fuel bills by more than 7 percent simply by training their drivers on more efficient driving techniques and offering a financial reward to those who improve fuel economy. A study published in the International Journal of Sustainable Society, suggests that training and financial reward improves efficiency by 7.3 percent whereas training or reward alone leads to about 5 percent savings.

Is Seaweed the Future of Biofuel?

As scientists continue the hunt for energy sources that are safer, cleaner alternatives to fossil fuel, an ever-increasing amount of valuable farmland is being used to produce bioethanol, a source of transportation fuel. And while land-bound sources are renewable, economists and ecologists fear that diverting crops to produce fuel will limit food resources and drive up costs.