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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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The Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Structure Index online database

Recently, a new website containing a wealth of information on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was made publicly available by NIST. PAHs are compounds that are produced during the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels and have significant adverse health and environmental effects. The website contains data on more than 650 PAH compounds, with many more to be added in the near future.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2014

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Suburban sprawl cancels carbon footprint savings of dense urban cores

According to a new study, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities' extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits. Dominated by emissions from cars, trucks and other forms of transportation, suburbs account for about 50 percent of all household emissions in the United States.

Posted: Jan 6th, 2014

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Synthetic natural gas from excess electricity

'Power to gas' is a key concept when it comes to storing alternative energy. This process converts short-term excess electricity from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines into hydrogen. Combined with the greenhouse gas CO2, renewable hydrogen can be used to produce methane, which can be stored and distributed in the natural gas network. Empa researchers have now succeeded in further optimising this process.

Posted: Jan 6th, 2014

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Researchers find ways to minimize power grid disruptions from wind power

Researchers have found that an increase in the use of wind power generation can make the power grid more fragile and susceptible to disruptions. But the researchers didn't just identify the problem - they have also devised a technique for coordinating wind power generation and energy storage in order to minimize the potential for such power disruptions.

Posted: Jan 3rd, 2014

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Smart grid test as part of the energy transition

In the lab, researchers can simulate almost any smart grid because the facility is equipped with control cabinets full of batteries as well as with a cogeneration plant, an emergency power unit, an adjustable local grid transformer, various loads and converters, two refrigeration units, and a water purification plant.

Posted: Dec 22nd, 2013

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Efforts to curb climate change require greater emphasis on livestock

While climate change negotiators struggle to agree on ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, they have paid inadequate attention to other greenhouse gases associated with livestock. One of the most effective ways to cut methane is to reduce global populations of ruminant livestock, especially cattle.

Posted: Dec 20th, 2013

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The future of staying cool

Scientists are working to make the inefficient method of refrigeration and air conditioning - which has been relied on for over a hundred years - a thing of the past.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2013

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European consortium to combat methane emissions

The Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is leading a European consortium to develop and test new methane measurement instruments for municipal shale gas extraction, waste water treatment plants and gas distribution.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2013

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Grass as the new biofuel

A new European research project seeks grass crops that could be grown and harvested on marginal lands, away from areas suitable for food crops.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2013

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Drexel University opens A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment

Drexel University is opening a new research institute that will strive to answer some of the most challenging questions about energy and environmental sustainability facing the nation today. The A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment will look at the science, economics and politics that influence decisions about energy and the environment; and serve as a resource for decision makers both in the region and around the world.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2013

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Recognizing the elephant in the room: Future climate impacts across sectors

A pioneering collaboration within the international scientific community has provided comprehensive projections of climate change effects, ranging from water scarcity to risks to crop yields. This interdisciplinary effort, employing extensive model inter-comparisons, allows research gaps to be identified, whilst producing the most robust possible findings. The results provide crucial insights for decision-making regarding mitigation efforts in the face of potential impact cascades.

Posted: Dec 16th, 2013

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World e-waste map reveals national volumes, international flows

The first 'E-Waste World Map' has been created by UN organizations, industry, governments, non-government and science organizations through their 'Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP)' initiative. By 2017, world volumes of end-of-life e-products is expected to be 33 percent higher than 2012 and weigh the equivalent of eight Great Egyptian Pyramids. A complementary new EPA-funded StEP report by MIT and NCER characterizes US domestic and transboundary flows of used electronics.

Posted: Dec 15th, 2013

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Ethanol blends carry hidden risk

Blending more ethanol into fuel to cut air pollution carries a hidden risk that toxic or explosive gases may leach into buildings, according to researchers at Rice University.

Posted: Dec 14th, 2013

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