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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Now it will become cheaper to make second-generation biofuel for our cars

Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmentally friendly -- but it is also expensive because the process, as used today, needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market. Now a Danish/Iraqi collaboration presents a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes. The production of second generation biofuels thus becomes cheaper, probably attracting many more producers and competition, and this may finally bring the price down.

Posted: Feb 24th, 2014

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Kinetic battery chargers get a boost

New technology to capture the kinetic energy of our everyday movements, such as walking, and to convert it into electrical energy has come a step closer thanks to new research.

Posted: Feb 19th, 2014

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Pond-dwelling powerhouse's genome points to its biofuel potential

Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that's been known to drive people daffy. It's one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it's also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce pharmaceuticals. Now, the genome of Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) has given this miniscule plant's potential as a biofuel source a big boost.

Posted: Feb 19th, 2014

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Solar-induced hybrid fuel cell produces electricity directly from biomass

Researchers have developed a new type of low-temperature fuel cell that directly converts biomass to electricity with assistance from a catalyst activated by solar or thermal energy. The hybrid fuel cell can use a wide variety of biomass sources, including starch, cellulose, lignin - and even switchgrass, powdered wood, algae and waste from poultry processing.

Posted: Feb 18th, 2014

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Archaeologists lend long-term perspective to food security and climate shock

What role does pre-existing vulnerabilities play for people who experience a climate shock? Does it amplify the effects of the climate shock or is effect negligible? Four Arizona State University archaeologists are looking into this as part of an international team examining how people can be most resilient to climate change when it comes to food security.

Posted: Feb 17th, 2014

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Waste from age-old paper industry becomes new source of solid fuel

In today's search for renewable energy sources, researchers are turning to the hi-tech, from solar and hydrogen fuel cells, and the very low-tech. The latest example of a low-tech alternative comes from an age-old industry: paper. A new study reveals a sustainable way to turn the huge amounts of waste from paper production into solid fuel with the added bonus of diverting the sludge from overflowing landfills.

Posted: Feb 12th, 2014

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